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The Grow Academy



The Division of Juvenile Corrections (DJC) recognizes the expanding need for out of home placement for delinquent, high school credit deficient youth.  The Grow Academy is designed to meet this need by offering an evidence-based, correctional program consisting of an agriculturally-based educational curriculum, community partnerships, and cognitive-behavioral treatment to reduce recidivism among youth.

As an alternative to juvenile incarceration, a direct county commitment, or for youth returning from a Juvenile Correctional placement, the Grow Academy will teach youth the skills to successfully reintegrate into and be productive members of their communities.  


The Grow Academy is conveniently located approximately 10 miles south of Madison, WI at 4986 County Highway M, Oregon, WI, 53575.  

    Directions to the Grow Academy (PDF)

What It Is 

The Grow Academy is a residential program offering comprehensive treatment for youth that consists of:

·       24/7 supervision and support

·       An agricultural science curriculum to be used in and outside of the classroom

·       Youth engagement in the local food economy through economic and community partnerships

·       An evidence-based skill development to help youth identify, control, and change thinking and beliefs that increase their risk of recidivating

The Grow Academy Brochure

Whom It Serves

The Grow Academy’s residential program will serve up to 12 male youth ages 14-18 in a 120-day program. Youth can start at any  point in the program once screened and approved by DJC.


Youth referrals may come as a result of:

·       County placements via the Experiential Education Program, s. 938.34(7g)

·       Stayed correctional court orders, s. 938.34(16)

·       Direct placements, where youth are released to the Grow Academy after 21 days in reception at Lincoln Hills School

·       A step-down from Lincoln Hills School

Community Partners

To ensure community protection, high-quality care, and youth accountability and competency building, DJC will work with a coalition of partners. These include:

·       UW Extension

·       Madison Area Technical College

·       Madison-area Community Action Coalition

·       UW Madison

·       Community GroundWorks

Together these partners will provide services and supplemental curricula in horticulture, aqua-ponics, nutrition education, gardening, compositing, poultry, and employment readiness.

Youth will not only learn valuable skills from working with these organizations, but will also donate products grown on-site to local food pantries and sell products to local purchasers.

Project Examples and Program Components 

·       Organic vegetable farming

·       Aqua-ponic technology for seedling growth

·       Horticulture therapy

·       Raising small farm animals

·       Composting

·       Nutrition, including meal planning, meal preparation, and cooking

·       ServSafe® certification

·       Marketing and sales skill development

·       Firsthand experience selling organic produce at local farmers’ markets

·       Restorative justice and community service through donations made to local food pantries

·       Financial literacy

·       High school credit in a project based learning experience

·       Job readiness and employment placement

·       Cognitive intervention programming

For information on the referral process and criteria, please contact:

The Grow Academy Referral Packet