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End Homelessness

Prevent Delinquency
and School Failure

Break the Cycle of Child Abuse and Neglect 

Promote Mental Health and Addiction Recovery


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San Diego Youth Services
Administrative Office
3255 Wing Street
San Diego, CA  92110
(619) 221-8600








Breaking Cycles

Breaking Cycles is a multi-agency, geographically diverse project administered by the County of San Diego Probation Department. It is designed to prevent escalating juvenile delinquency. By focusing program efforts through a system of graduated sanctions on at-risk youth and their families, Breaking Cycles is improving the juvenile justice system and community response to juvenile offenders. SDYS is the lead agency providing the alcohol and drug treatment component of the Breaking Cycles project.

Every year 1,000 - 1,200 youth are referred to the Breaking Cycles Program. At the time of discharge over 85% are alcohol/drug free and over 95% do not commit a new crime!

Breaking Cycles Program Goals

  • Prevent and reduce crime
  • Reduce the number of youth who are incarcerated
  • Increase the number of youth who successfully complete probation
  • Support community service and restitution
  • Improve school performance and attendance
  • Improve family and peer relationships
  • Reduce substance abuse, gang affiliation and criminal behavior
  • Redirect resources from costly incarceration to a prevention focus

Services for Youth: In order to reach the above goals, the Breaking Cycles program includes several essential elements:

  • Substance abuse screening and assessment
  • Mental health screening and assessment
  • Dual diagnosis screening and assessment 
  • Individual, group and family substance abuse counseling
  • Psycho-educational groups
  • Dual diagnosis groups
  • Functional Family Therapy
  • Quality service providers: 
       - Certified Substance Abuse Counselors
       - Registered Board of Behavioral Sciences Therapists
       - Therapist specifically trained in Functional Family Therapy
  • Community Connections -- SDYS is an active member of:
       - The San Diego County Alcohol and Drug Services Provider’s Association
       - The California Association for Addiction Recovery Resources and the California Association of  
         Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselors.
  • SDYS follows the ethical standards of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapists. 

Contact Information
Breaking Cycles
Phone: 858-492-2324

A special thanks to the following supporters of the Breaking Cycles Program:
County of San Diego, Alcohol and Drug Services Department
County of San Diego, Juvenile Probation Department
Sempra “Energy for Others” program


BC: Delinquent I will Succeed Girl

Leslie Breaks Her Negative Cycle and Starts a Pattern of Success!
Leslie was abused as a child. Her mother was addicted to Crystal Meth and her father was in prison. She turned to drugs as a coping mechanism. Finally, at age 16, she was picked up for solicitation and given a 240-day breaking cycles commit. After completing the Breaking Cycles program, Leslie turned her life around. She is now enrolled in college and continues to focus on positive choices.

"If it weren't for the Breaking Cycles staff, Juvenile Recovery Specialists, the Youth and Family Counselor, and Probation Officers who believed in me, referred me to therapy, as well as enrolled me in support and recovery groups, I probably would have gone back to my old habits of dealing with my life's problems. Thank you all!" -- Leslie, Breaking Cycles Graduate

Breaking Cycles Circular Arrows
A special program under the direction of Juvenile Field Service with commitment lengths of 150, 240 and 365 days. Locations include: Girls Rehabilitation Center, Reflections (Central/North), Juvenile Ranch Facility, Youth Day Center (Central/North Central), and Community Unit (North/South/East/West).

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