Boys State Youth and Adult Correctional Agency



The Boys State Youth and Adult Correctional Agency (BSYACA) oversees the confinement and rehabilitation of over 12,000 male, female and juvenile inmates held at 14 state correctional institutions. The BSYACA retains the inmates until they can be released by law back into the community. The Agency seeks to rehabilitate and educate the inmates while they are incarcerated through a number of Agency programs. The BSYACA is a part of the Executive Branch of the Boys State government. Its Secretary is part of the governor’s cabinet. It is the smallest department of the seven Executive Departments under the Executive Branch of the Boys State government.


Mission Statement

“The mission of the Boys State Youth and Adult Correctional Agency is to protect the public by incarcerating juvenile and adult offenders and complying with established mandates in preparing them for reentry into the community.”


Departments / Agencies

Youth and Adult Corrections:


  • Educational Services Agency: Recognizing the importance of education in helping reduce recidivism, the BSYACA provides a variety of educational services to prison inmates. Educational services are provided in four basic program areas:
  • Functional Literacy Program. Any inmate who does not receive a minimum 8th grade score in reading, language or math on state tests or must attend Functional Literacy classes. Inmates in the Functional Literacy Program are provided basic instruction in reading, language and math to bring their literacy level up to at least the 8th grade level.
  • GED Preparation Program. The GED Preparation Program provides instruction for those inmates who do not have a high school diploma or GED to enable them to successfully pass the GED test. The GED test is the same test given to the general public and is certified by the Boys  State Department of Education. Any inmate who achieves the 8th grade Functional Literacy standard, or an incoming inmate who tests above the 8th grade standard, but who does not have a high school diploma or GED, may enroll in the GED Program.
  • Vocational Education Program. BSYACA contracts with seven Community Colleges around the state to provide Vocational Education instruction to inmates who have a high school diploma or GED, but who have no identifiable work or employment skills. The Vocational Education Programs are designed to train inmates for work within the prison and to make them employable upon release. Programs can take anywhere from six months to two years to complete. An inmate may enroll in a Vocational Education Program if they do not have a high school diploma or GED if they concurrently enroll and actively participate in the GED Preparation Program
  • Special Education Program. Pursuant to Federal Statutes, including the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and the Rehabilitation Act of 1974, section 504, BSYACA provides educational services to minors adjudicated as adults and sentenced to prison, as well as to inmates under 22 years of age and inmates who have disabilities which may impede their progress in standard educational classrooms.
  • Family Assistance Agency: The role of the Family Assistance Program is to assist with problems faced by families when a relative or close friend is incarcerated.  By providing information and other services to families, the program saves considerable time for prison staff. Services include: Helping families deal with federal, state and local governments. Explaining BSYACA policies affecting families such as marriage, visitation, work release and parole - and providing current information about correctional institutions. Working with community support agencies to assist families with problems, including eviction, medical, utility shut-off, food clothing and rent subsidies. Maintaining car pooling and transportation information for family visits to the prisons. Providing counseling, guidance, and support to improve the family relationship. Arranging parent/child visits, often in cooperation with community support agencies; and acting as a liaison between inmate and family when contact has been severed between them.
  • Department of Substance Abuse Services: DSAS responsibilities include developing, implementing, and monitoring a continuum of Alcohol and Other Drug (AOD) education and treatment services for the incarcerated population.  Establishing therapeutic and social services linkages for inmates released from custody to community supervision. Overseeing operations of the inmate drug testing system for the incarcerated population. Training professional and paraprofessional substance abuse staff, as well as general Department staff, in addictions-related topics and how to work effectively with drug-abusing offenders. Monitoring contracted AOD treatment services for contract compliance and program effectiveness.
  • Department of Health Services: Health Services provides constitutionally-mandated health care to the inmates of the Boys State Youth and Adult Corrections Agency, while protecting the health of its employees. To accomplish this, Health Service has several Program and Specialty Areas for the employee and inmate needs. These programs cover areas such as mental health, dental and medical, as well as, a pharmacy and certified nursing staff.
  • Victim’s Services Agency: The agency provides victims and their families with key information about inmates and offenders under the state's supervision. Information includes where an inmate is housed, where an offender is being supervised, and when a parole hearing is scheduled.
  • Religious Services Agency: facilitates the practice of religious faith and encourages the development of personal spirituality. Agency chaplains coordinate religious programming, recruit & supervise religious volunteers, and offer spiritual counseling and support to inmates. In addition to department chaplains, religious volunteers from many faith perspectives provide program and supervisory support for inmate religious activities.