Adult Diagnostic and Treatment Center

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Adult Diagnostic and Treatment Center
Location8 Production Way
Avenel, New Jersey
Security classSpecialty
Managed byNew Jersey Department of Corrections

The Adult Diagnostic and Treatment Center (ADTC) is a secure correctional facility operated by the New Jersey Department of Corrections. Its purpose is to provide treatment for certain repetitive and compulsive male sex offenders who have been sentenced under the New Jersey Sex Offender Act.[1]

From its opening in 1976 through at least 1994, ADTC is a unique facility, the "only complex of its kind in the nation devoted exclusively to the treatment of adult sexual offenders".[2] The facility is located in the Avenel section of Woodbridge Township, New Jersey. Prior to the opening of the Avenel facility, the program occupied a housing unit at East Jersey State Prison known as "5-Wing".

ADTC houses and treats two groups of men: 1. Certain convicted sex offenders willing to engage in treatment who have been sentenced by the Court under the New Jersey Sex Offender Act to serve their sentences at the facility, and 2. Men who are not sentenced under the New Jersey Sex Offender Act, but have committed a sex offense. As of 1/1/2013, the facility had a population of 681.

Levels and phases[edit]

Inmates are divided into "levels" and "phases" based on their therapeutic progress, institutional conduct, criminal history, outstanding warrants or detainers, and escape risk.

The "levels" are based solely on therapeutic progress and range from Level 1 to Level 4, with Level 4 being the most advanced. Level 1 inmates engage in psychoeducational work using specially-prepared workbooks, usually assisted by "para-professional therapy aides", who are therapeutically-advanced inmates who have been assigned to paid institutional jobs running therapy groups, providing para-professional psychoeducational counseling to newer inmates, and providing crisis intervention services to other inmates when their therapists aren't available (for example, after hours or on weekends). Level 2, 3, and 4 inmates participate in various modules dealing with subjects such as Anger Management, Arousal Reconditioning, Victim Empathy, and Relapse Prevention, as well as more general "process groups" where any therapeutic issues can be discussed. Inmates may also participate in groups run by para-professional therapy aides, which are videotaped for review by staff members and are limited to specific therapeutic issues.

The "phases" correspond to custody levels and determine, among other things, which jobs an inmate is allowed to hold. Phase 1 is the lowest level and corresponds to maximum custody. Phase 1 inmates are limited to jobs where they can be closely and directly observed by staff. Phase 2 corresponds to medium custody and allows inmates to hold jobs that don't require as much supervision, but are still within the confines of the secure perimeter. Phase 3 corresponds to "gang minimum" status and allows inmates to work outside the secure perimeter with other inmates under minimal supervision. Phase 4 corresponds to "full minimum" status, which allows inmates to work outside the secure perimeter without supervision, or off the prison grounds with one-officer supervision.

Release process[edit]

In order to be paroled from the ADTC, inmates must receive the recommendations of their therapists, two panels composed of other therapists employed at the facility, an external review board of community professionals officially known as the "Special Classification Review Board", and the New Jersey State Parole Board. The process typically takes several years after the initial recommendation by one's therapist, which typically comes only after the inmate has been incarcerated for several years and has progressed to Level 4 treatment status. As a result of the lengthiness of the process, fewer than five percent of inmates are released on parole. The remainder "max out", which means that they served the maximum amount of time allowed under their sentences.

Inmates who at the end of their sentences have been determined to be "Sexually Violent Predators" may be civilly committed at the Special Treatment Unit (STU). Previously located in Kearny, New Jersey, the STU is now located on the grounds of East Jersey State Prison, a few hundred feet from the ADTC. The STU is known to inmates as either the "Red Roof Inn" because of its red metal roof, or "The Gulag" because few inmates are ever released from the facility.


Any inmate who was ever incarcerated at the ADTC (or the program's previous location at East Jersey State Prison), at any time during their life, is allowed to attend outpatient aftercare groups at the ADTC at no cost.


  1. ^ "Adult Diagnostic and Treatment Center". New Jersey Department of Corrections. Retrieved 1 September 2016.
  2. ^ Nordheimer, Jon (2 November 1994). "New Look at Jail Unit Housing Sex Offenders". New York Times. Retrieved 1 September 2016.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 40°35′24″N 74°16′26″W / 40.5900°N 74.2738°W / 40.5900; -74.2738