The Rutherford House


The Rutherford House five (5) residential facilities have been organized as alternatives to traditional and sometimes distant training school institutions. Juveniles who have come to the attention of local courts are eligible for intake consideration. It is our belief that youth in trouble can benefit from treatment in a program that provides for removal from the home on a short term basis. During this time the adolescent becomes a resident at our agency and with the family, participate in a comprehensive program aimed at reintegration of the resident into his/her home. If reintegration is not possible or advisable, our staff will recommend another placement based on the needs of the individual resident.


Rutherford House for girls began operation in July of 1974 as a temporary home for status offenders and neglected children. Expansion into a second facility for girls occurred in 1977. The first male facility was opened in 1975 for short-term care. A second boys program was opened in 1978. A short and long term foster care component began in 1980. A fifth group home was opened in May of 1991. Rutherford House now operates four homes for boys and one for girls. The five homes are licensed as Louisiana type "A" residential programs. Placement is open to children regardless of race or religion whose needs cannot be met through traditional community resources. All facilities are "open" and children are never locked into a facility. The program is governed by a fifteen member Board of Directors and is financed by the Louisiana Department of Juvenile Justice, both public and private grants, and the Department of Education. Private contributions are solicited to provide necessities above the state reimbursement level. Rutherford House is a non-profit organization and has been awarded tax exempt status. (501) (C) (3).

Description of Facilities

Rutherford House I is located at 636 Herndon. It is a one story frame house (2245 square feet) built in 1900. The building houses a maximum of 13 boys. There are 6 bedrooms, 1 community bathroom, a living room, a dining room, a kitchen, a den, and an office. Rutherford House II is located at 217 Rutherford Street and was built in the 1930's. It is a two-story frame house (2,800 square feet). The building houses a maximum of fourteen boys. There are six bedrooms, seven bathrooms, a living room, a dining room, a kitchen, a den and an office. This facility is designed for boys who are in the final stages of placement in Rutherford House and have demonstrated steady progress in our program. Rutherford House III is located at 553 Stoner, and is a two-story wood frame building, approximately 4,500 square feet. It can house up to fourteen boys and was built in the 1930's. Along with a three room apartment, the building contains five large student bedrooms, one group bathroom and two small bathrooms, a kitchen, dining room, an office and hall reception area. Rutherford House IV is located at 618 Herndon and is a three-story brick house with 5,000 square feet built in 1898. It can accommodate up to fourteen boys. In addition, there are six bedrooms, one group and two small bathrooms, kitchen, a dining room, a den, and an office area in the house. Rutherford House V is located at 657 Wyandotte and is a one-story building with 2,000 square feet of living area and was built in 1929. There are three student bedrooms, large bath, kitchen, recreation room, dining room and staff offices. This facility is designed for intensive supervision of 6 to 9 girls. Each house has its own laundry facilities, is climate controlled and all group homes are within walking distance of city bus routes, hospitals and our on-grounds school component. The group homes are utilized basically for free time and sleeping. Most treatment, educational and recreational services occur at our main building, located at 1707 Line Avenue. This 40 year old facility has over 16,000 square feet of space and houses: Administrative offices, intake and treatment areas, six classrooms, a complete gymnasium, stage, a commercial kitchen, dining room, 3 bathrooms, staff offices and storage facilities. A side building is utilized for counseling services. In addition the agency operates a curfew center and a truancy/misdemeanor center located at 546 Olive. Our vocational center now houses, in its over 35,000 square feet of space, carpentry, small engine, auto repair, welding, and computer labs for computer assisted instruction. Recent grants and donations have been used to purchase the latest in job training equipment.

Treatment/Discharge Policy

Upon entrance an Individual Treatment Plan is made for each resident. This treatment plan is developed in conjunction with the OJJ's plan and is devised to address the problem areas that the resident has experienced. Methods are also shown that will hopefully remediate these deficiencies and allow each resident to successfully reintegrate into his/her community. Our program is designed with three levels to indicate the progression of each resident through Rutherford House. The Basic level is designed for new residents and those that have shown severe problems such as fighting or running away. The Intermediate level is for residents who have demonstrated the ability to abide by the rules of the courts and Rutherford House. Residents who have had problems on the advance level may be demoted to this level. The Advanced level is reserved for those residents that are nearing successful completion of our program and are preparing to go home or to an independent living situation. Daily evaluations along with bi-monthly staff meetings are held to note and discuss each resident's progress within the program. Monthly reports and meetings between the OJJ worker, resident and agency staff are utilized to measure progress. Residents are tested for academic placement, vocational interests, and self esteem levels when they are placed and when they complete our program. Once a resident has completed our treatment program, a letter is sent to the OJJ office and to the court of original jurisdiction requesting a trial home placement. If requested by OJJ, an aftercare plan will be presented which will involve the resident and family in the continued services of our agency. (These services may be limited if the resident involved lives a great distance from our agency) Placement referrals may be made to Rutherford House by OJJ for re-admission to our program. These requests are usually made for two reasons: 1. Failure of the resident to successfully re-integrate into the community 2. The resident has been referred back to Rutherford House after an intervening placement. Residents are discharged prior to completing our program for two basic reasons: 1. The resident has reached his/her full term date and is discharged 2. Unsuccessful placement


Aftercare services will be provided for a minimum of 90 days after release from residence. These services may include continued, individual counseling, family counseling, mentors, job referrals and evaluation of school progress. Records are kept for six months to track recidivism. After successful completion of the Rutherford House program, our staff will contact the resident and guardian to determine "successful placement." 1) The resident will be in an educational program or employed. 2) He/she will not have had any new convictions for illegal activities other than minor traffic violations with either the juvenile or adult system.