CBS 19: Report Looks At Ways to Change Juvenile Justice System in Virginia

RICHMOND, Va. (NEWSPLEX) — A new report outlines steps the Virginia Department of Juvenile Justice , the Task Force on Juvenile Correction Centers and the community across the Commonwealth can take to keep families intact and communities safe.

The Reinvest in Supportive Environments for Youth Campaign Coalition, or RISE for Youth, released a report Tuesday advocating for the implementation of an improved model, replacing outdated prisons with smaller home-like settings.

“Virginia’s youth prison model doesn’t work,” said Jeree Thomas, an attorney with the Legal Aid Justice Center and manager of the RISE for Youth Campaign. “The isolation and separation that occurs in facilities is traumatizing for many youth, and it can stunt their social, emotional, and rehabilitative development in ways that are counterproductive to public safety.”

The smaller facilities could allow youth to mature in socially appropriate ways but still hold them accountable for their actions and behavior.

According to a release, the facilities would cost less in the short term and would provide a greater value to Virginia’s taxpayers by reducing recidivism in the long run.

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