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LOCAL WELLNESS POLICY – Revised March, 2022


The Detention Center is a 102-bed facility which houses pre-adjudicatory youth  The average length of stay for a youth is 23.5 days.  Statutorily, the Detention Center maintains strict adherence to confidentiality regarding Residents confined in the facility.  There is 24/7 on-site medical services and mental health services.  The River Valley Detention Center has year-round school on site.  Joliet Township District 204 teachers are assigned to the Detention Center.  River Valley Detention follows the school calendar for District 204 for school breaks (excluding summer break) and Teacher Institute Days.  As such, the Detention Center has adopted parts of District 204'’s School Wellness Policy and incorporated additional parameters site specific to the Detention Center.  Please note that while Residents are in the custody of the River Valley Detention Center, the Superintendent is designated by statute as “

"parent in loco parentis"”.


Resident (Student) Wellness, including good nutrition and physical activity, shall be promoted in the Detention Center’s educational programs, school activities, and meal programs.  This policy shall be interpreted consistently with Section 204 of the Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act of 2004.


River Valley Detention is accredited with the American Correctional Association, the National Commission on Correctional Health Care the Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice, and theAdministrative Office of Illinois Courts.  The Detention Center also abides by standars of Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA). In compliance with PREA, it shall be the policy of the River Valley Detention Center to provide a safe and secure environment for all residents, staff, and volunteers.  The river valley Detention Center is committed to zero tolerance of any form of sexual abuse and/or sexual harassment.


Oversight of the Local Wellness Policy is the responsibility of the Facility Superintendent and Assistant Superintendent.  This Policy is reviewed and updated annually by a collective meeting including these individuals, stakeholders, teachers and food service personnel.  Tenets of the policy are stringently reviewed for any changes and/or revisions.  Special attention is given to any newly implemented processes or educational elements.


River Valley Detention is under the Judicial Branch.  The Chief Judge and the Director of Court Services are primary stakeholders and are included in the distribution and completion of River Valley’s Local Wellness Policy and any revisions.  Notifications of review timelines are provided to these individuals as well as others involved in the process.


River Valley Detention’s Local Wellness Policy is also available at:






The goals for addressing nutrition education include the following:


·       {C}River Valley Detention will support and promote good nutrition for the Residents;


·       {C}River Valley Detention has school classes on the premises.  While River Valley is different than a regular school, Residents still have unimpeded access to water;


·       {C}River Valley Detention will foster the positive relationship between good nutrition, physical activity, and the capacity for the Residents to grow and learn;


·       {C}Nutrition education will be part of District 204’s comprehensive health education curriculum;


·       {C}River Valley Detention does not provide food-based commissary items, does not have vending machines in the secured portion of the facility where Residents are housed, and does not generate and/or sponsor any fundraisers;



·       {C}Prior to the pandemic, the Joliet Park District Dietician frequently crerated presentations for the Residents based on the benefits of eating healthy and also bought props to demonstrate the difference foods can make in one's body (fat-v-muscle).  The dietician had engaged Residents with making and sampling a healthy snack option like Yogurt Parfait made with plain vanilla yogurt, granola, bluberries, and strawberries.  The Residents see and tasted healthy options, while learning more about the benefits of a nutritious lifestyle.  Due to thepandemic, we were unable to partake in this event for both 2020 and 2021.  We hope that with the new guidlines, we'll be able to start up this program again in the near future;


·       {C}The Detention Center has its own vegetable garden which began in Spring, 2019.  The garden will be ongoing and will include not only Residents as part of the process, but also actively involve Juvenile Detention Officers who sign up to contribute to the daily maintenance of the garden.  In the Fall of 2019, Residents got to see, and taste, the benefits of home gardening by making and enjoying homemade salsa with ingredients straight from the garden;


·       {C}The River Valley Detention Center endeavors to have the event “Feed My Starving Children” each year.  The Detention Center has already hosted the event in 2018 and 2019 with great success.  The event has taught Residents about the importance of community service and the extension of that altruism to starving children in other regions of the world.  Due to the pandemic, we were unable to partake in this event for both 2020 and 2021.  We hope that with the new guidlines, we'll be able to start up this program again in the near future.


“"Feed My Starving Children"” is a non-profit organization tackling world hunger by sending volunteer-packed, nutritious meals to nearly 70 countries.  This event has been held at River Valley Detention for two years.  In August, 2019, Exelon donated funds to support the event and Exelon representatives were also on site to do a presentation on energy for the Residents. The donated funds were used by “Feed My Starving Children” to purchase the materials and food needed for meal packaging preparation.  The event spans an entire day.  Residents were able to work together to prepare enough food packages to serve 22,896 meals. Residents learned that their community service enabled 62 children to be able to have a meal a day for an entire year.  Participating in an event like this allows the Residents to feel a sense of giving back, while at the same time realizing how precious of a commodity a meal can be for some children;


·       {C}In addition to physical activities, River Valley Detention also promotes and encourages mindful exercises including weekly creative writing programs, book clubs, team-building activities, and other games;  



·       {C}River Valley Detention believes in sound mind and body.  As such, the Detention Center addresses mental and social wellness via weekly on-going programming geared toward Early Intervention Drug Programming in group/individual settings.  Besides drug topics, the programming includes, but is not limited to:  Stress Identification and Management; Values, Norms, and Rules; Teen Stress Screenings; Recognizing Anger, the Anger Cycle, and Triggers; Communication; Worries, Wants, and Needs – Acceptance; as well as Self Esteem; and




·       {C}Residents made Restorative Justice Peace Circles focusing on values based around integrity:  Hope; Trust; Confidentiality; Honesty; Order; Equality; Empathy; Participation; Respect; Relationships; as well as Humor and Listening;






The goals for addressing physical activity include the following:


·       {C}River Valley Detention will support and promote an active lifestyle for Residents, even during non-classroom hours;


·       {C}Physical education will be taught to all Residents and shall include a developmentally planned and sequential curriculum that fosters the development of movement skills, enhances health-related fitness, increases Residents’ knowledge, offers direct opportunities to learn how to work cooperatively in a group setting, and encourages healthy habits and attitudes for a healthy lifestyle;


·       {C}Unless otherwise exempted, all Residents will be required to engage daily during the school day in a physical education course;


·       {C}The curriculum will be consistent with and incorporate relevant Illinois Learning Standards for Physical Development and Health as established by the Illinois State Board of Education; and


·       {C}River Valley Detention will provide various physical activities during non-school hours and normal school breaks.  There is indoor and outdoor recreation available to youth.  The Shift Supervisors align physical activities for Residents with Juvenile Detention Officers, including, but not limited to:

Basketball and volleyball tournaments; and Flag football tournaments.


·       {C}River Valley Detention continues its partnership with fitness trainers from Joliet Park District to conduct high intensity workout sessions and yoga classes for the Residents.  This program has been met with such excitement from the Residents.


·       {C}Community service is also a focus of Resident care at River Valley Detention.  Residents are encouraged to consider the “wellness” of others in the community - those who may be less fortunate than them, even as they are detained in the facility.  The Residents make fleece tie blankets for cancer victims, homeless shelters, veterans’ homes, and other charities to give something back and hoping to enhance someone’s day.  The Residents also create holiday cards throughout the year for the Sunny Hill Nursing Home Residents.


·       {C}The Shift Supervisors and Juvenile Detention Officers also play a major role in programming conducted at the River Valley Detention Center.  Staff conducts weekly fitness, creative writing, movie nights, and fun gaming activities.  These programs promote teamwork, discipline and allow the Residents’ minds to be taken off of their current situations. 


·       {C}Juvenile Detention Officers also create and conduct their own programming activities three times a year at a minimum.


·       {C}The employees of the Detention Center also participate in the County of Will’s Employee Wellness Program which includes, but is not limited to: 

Biometric Screenings; Myriad health, nutrition and wellness education seminars; Encouragement of ownership of one’s health including Fit Bit usage, membership to a gym, 5K runs or other marathons/walking exercises; Water ingestion tracking; Mammograms; Prostate exams; and Other general preventative measures to secure one’s best health, nutrition, and wellness prospects;





River Valley Detention promotes nutritious foods and beverages to Residents consistent with the current Dietary Guidelines for Americans and Food Guidance System published jointly by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Agriculture.  River Valley Detention also abides by the rules of the Illinois State Board of Education and the Child Nutrition Programs.  River Valley Detention serves the highest age/grade group meal plan as part of the USDA’s meal pattern requirements. For more information about the meal pattern requirements, please go to:

or call the Detention Center at 815-730-7070 to speak with someone about what the meal pattern requirements entail.





Reimbursable school meals served shall meet, at a minimum, the nutrition requirements and regulations for the National School Lunch Program and/or School Breakfast Program.  River Valley Detention does claim reimbursement for breakfasts and lunches served. 





The Illinois State Board of Education has a Summer Meals program for children in the general public.  The Detention Center is committed to making sure no child goes without a meal.  During the summer months, when a Resident has been released from custody of the Detention Center via Court Order, and subsequently brought out to the lobby for release to Resident’s parent(s) and/or legal guardian, a notification regarding where, in this area, Summer Meals are provided and can be followed up on once home.





The Superintendent, or his designee, shall meet with the Assistant Superintendent, and Local Wellness Advisory members, as applicable, to review this Wellness Policy not only to monitor progress, but to also adjust the policy or guidelines if necessary.  The Wellness Policy and goals are evaluated as a whole every three (3) years.  Yearly goals will also be part of the Superintendent’s assessment.


The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) conducted a 2022 School Nutrition Programs Procurement Review for the River Valley Detention Center.  This Review encompassed the Procument areas that were previously a part of the Administrative Review.  This Procurement Review evaluated the Procuremnet/Purchasing from fiscal year 2021.




The Superintendent, or her designee, shall periodically monitor the policy’s success by reviewing and collaborating with the Assistant Superintendent, Detention Officers and others involved in the implementation of the Wellness Program.  As cited earlier, the Superintendent is “"parent in loco parentis”" – she is the legal guardian of the Residents while they are detained.  As such, Residents’ parents are not their guardians during detention and cannot participate in a Wellness Board for that reason, nor for confidentiality purposes as specific instances regarding a Resident may be addressed or other causes for concern may be discussed regarding those specific instances.  For parental input, the Wellness Board is comprised partially of facility individuals who have children and who can better understand the strengths and weaknesses that accompany trying to teach children how to eat better, to make good, healthy choices, and to become more physically active in a sedentary, technology-infused world.




Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act of 2004, PL 108-265, Sec. 204


Child Nutrition Act of 1966, 42 U.S.C. Sec. 1771 et seq


National School Lunch Act, 42 U.S.C. Sec. 1758


42 U.S.C. Sec 1779, as implemented by 7 C.F.R. Sec 210.11


105 ILCS 5/2-3.139


23 Ill. Admin. Code Part 305 Food Program


ISBE’s “School Wellness Policy” Goal, adopted Oct. 2007


Cross Ref. 4:120 (Food Services)


Joliet Township District 204 & River Valley Detention Center