Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $95,250)
The Virgin Islands Title II Formula Grant will address compliance monitoring and bring the territory into full compliance regarding youths and juveniles in the territory. The funding will be targeted to offer programs that will enrich the lives of the territory’s young. For the purpose of the Title II solicitation, the Virgin Islands juvenile population are youths between the ages of 3 – 17 as described by the population census. However, as the 2020 Virgin Islands census is not officially available in its entirety any reference to the Census information will be derived from the 2010 Census. As per the 2010, the United States Virgin Islands, had an approximate population of 108,574 residents of which 31,356 are juveniles under the age of 18. This means that youths represent approximately 29% of the population
During this fiscal year, the Virgin Islands State Advisory Group (SAG) Board and State Office addressed several areas of concern that affected the overall program and funding to the territory. This included the need for a well-trained Juvenile Justice Specialist and SAG Board. Even though the SAG Board meets membership requirements outlined by OJJDP, the JJ Specialist will continue to increase membership in the youth member category.
For FY 2022, the JJ Specialist will continue to work with the SAG Board members in the areas of Compliance Monitoring, in addition to developing the Racial and Ethnic Disparities plan. As an on-going measure, technical assistance will be requested for both the JJ Specialist and the SAG Board. The existing work being done by the SAG Board and the State Office has reduced the potential of non-compliance issues and thereby decrease any potential violations. Therefore, the Compliance Monitor and SAG members will continue to monitor the facilities within the monitoring universe to ensure full compliance with the four requirements.
Further, the Virgin Islands will direct technical assistance and training efforts to address area of non-compliance. Deinstitutionalization of Status Offenders (DSO) violations were noted on the Girls Cottage and the Youth Rehabilitation center (YRC) on St. Croix. Another area of non-compliance was the Jail Removal core requirement; particularly the collection of completed data from the Youth Rehabilitation Center (YRC). This has been problematic in the past years. However, the SAG Board and the Juvenile Justice Specialist continue to address most of these concerns and have worked with all involved to rectify the problem. Training and strategic initiatives will ensure that the Virgin Islands comes into compliance on DSO violations. Collaboration and training of key stakeholders to include the Department of Human Services, VI Police Department, Courts, Bureaus of Corrections and Department of Education will springboard the mechanisms to full compliance on all four requirements of the Title II.
LEPC and the SAG Board's main program goals are to bring the territory into full compliance with the four core requirements, specifically DSO and Jail Removal; Educate and provide technical assistance to all secure and non-secure facilities territory-wide. Provide community-driven prevention and early intervention program that will strengthen the protective factors and focus on delinquency risk factors.