Welcome to the Penikese Island School!

We are starting a new substance abuse treatment program for young men, 18 and older, in a collaboration with McLean Hospital.  We are confident that the magic of Penikese Island, in concert with talented staff, will foster a nature-based therapeutic community that delivers a uniquely effective residential treatment program.


Penikese Island School is a non-profit organization comprised of dedicated staff and volunteers committed to addressing the opiate epidemic and helping those it impacts through the natural therapeutic environment that is Penikese Island and a top-quality, long-term recovery program.


Since 1973, Penikese Island School has been helping young men at risk find a better way forward. Penikese combines a magnificent island location in Buzzards Bay with caring and visionary staff to provide residents a one-of-a-kind therapeutic community and a pioneering model for treatment, healing and wellness.

In its early years, Penikese worked with court-involved teenage boys as an alternative to more restrictive and punitive environments. The rustic surroundings, the necessity of hard work and a small, interdependent island “family” provided an effective alternative to traditional penitentiary models. As an accredited MA Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) special needs school, Penikese helped our young men make progress academically, vocationally and emotionally.

In later years, Penikese worked primarily with teenage boys referred by the Department of Children and Families. Again, the highly trained staff, surrogate family environment and therapeutic community of the island were critical to the success of our graduates. Throughout its history, Penikese Island School has been dedicated to assuring access to our services regardless of residents’ financial status. We actively seek donations and grants to support our important work.