RD610 - Virginia Department of Juvenile Justice Transformation Plan 2022 Update

Executive Summary:

Beginning in 2014, the Department of Juvenile Justice embarked on a significant transformation plan. With the input of many stakeholders, we undertook a rigorous self-analysis to ensure we get the outcomes we want for the youth, families, and communities we serve while using taxpayer resources effectively. We thank all those who have dedicated their time and passionate energy to improve our juvenile justice system.

We now have several years of analysis, reporting, and reflection on the outcomes of this transformation plan. Under new leadership, the department will build upon the strengths and successes we have achieved while developing new initiatives to address where we have fallen short of our goals. We are excited to enter a new chapter in the continued transformation of the Department of Juvenile Justice. This new chapter begins with our commitment to the community through these strategic goals:

• Expand reentry vocational programs, workforce development and mentoring to provide resources to encourage a positive path of returning to the community

• Support successful community programs and create new initiatives that will address the current concerns of the Commonwealth

• Build trust with our law enforcement and judicial partners to ensure youth are placed in the best possible, most effective programs

• Address the concerns highlighted in the 2021 JLARC report, which focused on recidivism for our most serious offenders

• Create new resources to support victims and families, including those with Limited English Proficiency or disabilities, who have been impacted by violent crime

As we move forward and face new challenges, we must reaffirm our shared goals for success. We will be transparent. The department must have an objective, critical analysis of our successes and failures. This is vital to the community, the families, and the youth we serve. We will balance the safety of the community with the rehabilitative needs of our youth. Our juvenile justice system must have the trust of all its stakeholders, including elected leaders, judges, law enforcement, the youth and families we serve, victims, and the broader community. We must hold youth accountable for their actions by ensuring they receive the services they need, at the appropriate dosage, in order to create the greatest likelihood of success when they are no longer in our care. The growing concerns of the people of the Commonwealth must be addressed. Addressing and preventing youth violent crime, especially gun-related crime, must be a focus of all community stakeholders.

Again, we are so very grateful to the hard work and dedication of the staff, the board, community partners, and the entire law enforcement community. Each does their part to serve the people of Virginia. Together we will build a better Commonwealth where all families can thrive, all children can reach their full potential, and we can have safer communities.

Amy Floriano