The Chris Adams Center, a 20-bed county residential facility located next to Contra Costa County juvenile hall, opened in December 1999 to address a severe shortage of quality intervention services for seriously troubled young women. The county's Probation staff and Mental Health Department jointly operate the Center, assisted by seven staff therapists and an on-site school.
The adolescent girls who live at Chris Adams often come from families with histories of criminal behaviors, substance abuse and severe physical and emotional abuse. Not surprisingly, these girls come to Chris Adams with a wide range of behavioral problems and mental health issues. Growing up, they have not received the unconditional love, nurturing and positive role models that many of us take for granted. As a consequence they suffer from low self-esteem, poor impulse control and decision-making skills, along with a host of other emotional and behavioral problems.
These problems, if left unchecked, make them vulnerable to early pregnancy,
increasingly serious crimes, and a general failure to live up to their
potential as contributing citizens. In fact, the girls who are sent to
Chris Adams are considered to be the highest risk group of young people
in the county. Generally, they are repeat offenders and frequent runaways.