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Wilder Youth Development Center

Service Philosophy

Tennessee’s Youth Development Center philosophy combines the safety and security of a hardware secure facility with the consistency and structure of a well-trained treatment staff who work in direct contact with small groups of youth to create supportive and encouraging relationships. This balance between security and evidence-based treatment intervention supports a culture where staff and youth feel safe. The goal is to improve youth’s behavior and increase their social and independent living skills while promoting stable, permanent connections to family and caring adults that will allow them to be successful upon their return to their community.

Program Demographics

Program Name: John S. Wilder (Wilder) Youth Development Center

Open Date: September of 1971

Location: Located in West Tennessee - Fayette County, in the town of Somerville. Somerville is approximately 35 miles from the Memphis metropolitan area.

Program Goal: Wilder YDC is charged with the responsibility of providing public safety, holding youth responsible for their behaviors, and offering youth opportunities to build competencies. Staff at Wilder YDC provide quality treatment, education services and offer a comprehensive array of services; providing each youth with the opportunity to learn and to become a productive member of society.

Population Served: Delinquent male youth, ages 14 to 18

Program Staffing: The front line staff (Youth Service Workers) ratio is 1:8 during awake hours and a 1:16 ratio during sleep hours.

Hours of Operation: Wilder is a secure residential facility providing supervision and care 24 hours, 7 days per week, 365 days per year

Number of Youth Served/Year:  Wilder YDC is a 120 bed facility; the total number of youth served at Wilder in FY18 (July 1, 2017-June 30, 2018) was 274.

Wilder Youth Development Center
Somerville, TN