The Timbrook House Youth Reporting Center provides alternatives to detention for at-risk youth, including those who violate terms of probation or who commit new crimes while on probation. Referrals to the Timbrook House come from the school system or juvenile court. Many of the referred youth are nonviolent offenders with serious truancy or behavioral problems who previously would have been sent to detention facilities or expelled from school.
Highly structured and supervised group activities are conducted Monday through Thursday from 4 to 8 p.m. The activities help the youth develop skills that support pro-social behaviors and engage them in community service projects. The students build positive relationships with police officers, school officials, and community leaders. Each evening students receive tutoring and remedial education assistance from Winchester Public School teachers. Representatives from community organizations offer a wide range of prevention and intervention programs to the students and their families. Winchester Police Officers are assigned to operate the Youth Reporting Center, which involves monitoring attendance, managing behavior, and scheduling alternative programs.
The Timbrook House is next to the alleyway where Sergeant Ricky Timbrook was gunned down in the line of duty on October 29, 1999. His murderer, Edward Nathaniel Bell, hid in the basement of the house before being arrested by officers the following day.
In the first 18 months, the Youth Reporting Center served 17 youth with roughly four or five teenagers in the program at any given time. The police department uses pre and post-program assessments and a six-month follow-up to track results on a range of indicators and has reported a number of promising outcomes.
- The number of contacts between the police department and youth referred to the Timbrook House declined by 36 percent by the end of the program and 58 percent after six months.
- The number of court appearances declined 69 percent by the six-month follow-up.
- By the end of the program and after six months, there was a substantial decrease in days in which youth were absent from school.
- The average student grade point average increased by .09 points by the end of the program and .22 points after six months.
The house includes a living room with a sitting area, a complete kitchen with a dining room table where the students enjoy a meal each evening, and a classroom with six computer stations.
Donations to the Timbrook House can be made through the:
Frederick County/Winchester Law Enforcement Foundation
P.O. Box 662
Winchester, VA 22604-0662