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Tue Mar 26, 2019, 06:49 PM

Virginia "transformation" of Juvenile Justice gets a new leader. Short article - worth a follow up.

Virginia is losing the leader of a sweeping transformation of its juvenile justice system that has dramatically reduced the number of youth going into state custody and attempted to improve the odds of keeping kids who've left custody from returning.

Those alternatives include the proliferation of community programs overseen by Boykin and placements at local detention facilities, including the Chesterfield Juvenile Detention Home, for low-risk offenders and those transitioning from state youth prisons.

Boykin has played a big role in the department's contracting with more than 125 companies to provide evidenced-based services to rehabilitate juvenile offenders in their communities instead of imprisoning them and to help those leaving custody transition back to their homes.

The department also has changed its approach to running its youth prisons, now just Bon Air Juvenile Correctional Center in Chesterfield. Instead of relying on a strict prison approach, the state instituted a community-based model in every residential unit to focus on engagement, rehabilitation and education.

"The work is not yet done," Boykin said.


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