RD567 - Department of Juvenile Justice Transformation Plan 2017 Update

Executive Summary:

With strong bipartisan support from the General Assembly and the leadership of Governor McAuliffe, the Department of Juvenile Justice established the Transformation Plan to ensure that the Department is using its resources effectively and getting the best outcomes for the young people it serves. While the report reflects the many changes the Department has implemented, and milestones it has reached, it is important to also remember that the work of the Transformation Plan is not complete and more time is needed for its changes to become permanent fixtures of Virginia’s juvenile justice system. Continued support from all branches of government for the Department’s ongoing work will result in better returns on taxpayer investment through improved public safety and more robust rehabilitative opportunities for youth involved in the juvenile justice system. The Transformation Plan is guided by the following core initiatives:

1) Safely reduce the use of the state’s large and aging juvenile correctional facilities;

2) Effectively reform supervision, rehabilitation, and treatment practices in all aspects of the juvenile justice system;

3) Efficiently replace the Department’s two large, outdated JCCs with smaller, regional, rehabilitative and treatment-oriented facilities supported by a statewide continuum of local alternative placements and evidence-based services; and

4) Sustain the Transformation Plan by maintaining safe, healthy, inclusive workplaces; continuing to recruit, retain, and develop a team of highly skilled and motivated staff; and aligning our procedures, policies, and resources to support the team in meeting the goals of transformation.

In furtherance of these core initiatives, fiscal year (FY) 2017 was a time of significant new developments and milestones for the Department’s transformation. Some highlights include the following:

• Juvenile Correctional Center (JCC) average daily population (ADP) declined from 406 in FY 2017 to 338 in FY 2017.

• Each court service unit (CSU) received training in evidence-based probation practices.

• The Department successfully consolidated the Beaumont and Bon Air JCCs by closing Beaumont.

• By the end of FY 2017, over 100 committed youth were in a non-JCC alternative placement.

• All residential units in Bon Air JCC were fully converted to the Community Treatment Model (CTM), and family visitations increased.

• JCCs experienced greater safety with significant declines in the rates of acts of aggression and violence, use of force by staff, and worker’s compensation claims.

• The Department added new college offerings for residents of the JCCs, as well as increased pass rates on Standards of Learning (SOL) tests, and the percentage of eligible residents who receive high school diplomas.

• With the savings from facility closures, the Department launched and established an entirely new service network through contracts with Regional Service Coordinators (RSCs), and to build out the statewide continuum of community-based services and alternative placements.

• Through the work with the RSCs, more than 100 direct service providers are now in the network, there have been more than 1,000 referrals, and by years end more than 100 communities will have access to new evidence-based programs aimed at effectively serving high-risk youth.

• The Department is poised to begin design and construction of the new, smaller JCC in Chesapeake.

• The Department has taken many steps to sustain the work of the transformation including revamping the Training Unit to be more responsive to the evolving needs of a more highly skilled workforce, and adding a Quality Assurance Unit to monitor the effectiveness and practices of all the new contracted programs.

• The Department has taken all these steps without receiving any new non-capital funds to increase its operational budget.