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Virginia Title II PREA Reallocation

Award Information

Award #
2014-JF-FX-0112
Location
Congressional District
Status
Closed
Funding First Awarded
2014
Total funding (to date)
$34,487

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2014, $18,694)

With OJJDP funds, the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services will support PREA implementation efforts of the Virginia Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ). The goal of the project is to change and improve organizational and facility culture to promote the zero tolerance for sexual assault and sexual harassment policy required by PREA standards. The rates of indecent exposures (resident to staff and resident to resident) in the agencys juvenile correctional centers to not reflect adherence to established policy. The strategy to begin culture change will be to provide foundational dialogue practices training to the agencys executive team and Beaumont and Bon Air Juvenile Correctional Centers administrative teams. NCA/NCF

Congress passed the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) in 2003 with unanimous support from both parties. Congress intended that PREA would provide for the analysis of the incidence and effects of prison rape in Federal, State, and local institutions and to provide information, resources, recommendations, and funding to protect individuals from prison rape.

The Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services is applying for OJJDP FY 2015 Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) Reallocation Funds to support PREA compliance activities of the Virginia Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ). Funds are being requested to support the DJJ’s transformation to community based programs for committed youth by providing funding for costs associated with PREA audits for locally operated detention homes that operate Community Placement Programs and Detention Re-entry Programs. Detention facilities in Virginia are operated by local jurisdictions; DJJ is the regulatory agency that ensures that the facilities are being operated according to state guidelines and standards and contracts with select facilities for the Community Placement and Detention Re-entry programs.

In late 2014, DJJ, in collaboration with the Annie E. Casey Foundation, began to assess and restructure the Virginia’s juvenile justice system, incorporating current best practices in juvenile justice throughout the agency, from a youth’s first contact with the juvenile justice system to commitment and re-entry. Resultant changes include transforming large housing units at the correctional centers into smaller, more youth centered “community model” units with consistent staff and staffing ratios of 1:8 and developing alternate programs at the beginning and end of commitments to provide secure confinement placements closer to a committed youth’s home. The Community Placement Program and Detention Re-entry Program have been developed in partnerships with locally operated detention homes to meet the need for residential space closer to home for committed youth, to strengthen re-entry and to affirm the Department’s commitment to smaller facilities.

The Community Placement Program has beds in detention facilities located regionally so that residents are closer to their home communities and reside in smaller and more effective housing units. This placement option maintains stronger family ties and allows a more seamless re-entry to community based resources.

The Detention Re-entry Program uses locally operated detention facilities to transition juvenile offenders from Juvenile Correctional Centers for a period ranging from 30 to 120 days prior to their discharge from commitment.

For DJJ to maintain compliance with PREA, the locally operated detention facilities must be PREA compliant. This grant will assist in this effort by providing funding for PREA audits of these local programs.

NCA/NCF

Date Created: September 21, 2014