Reduce the number of students referred to the juvenile justice system for minor misbehaviors by encouraging schools and law enforcement to work together to prioritize training staff on how to interact with youth.
Give local governments funding to provide much needed services to the youth intheir communities rather than providing far greater sums of tax payer dollars to state-run prisons that remove children from their homes. These community-based alternatives to incarceration must include nonresidential, community-based services that serve youth and their families in their homes and communities, not in isolation, and are proven more effective in reducing recidivism.
All facilities that house children involved in the juvenile justice system should be fewer than 24 beds, focused on positive youth development, and regionally based so that families do not have to travel more than an hour to stay connected to their child. Current capacity in Virginia’s system outside of the current juvenile correctional centers (Bon Air and Beaumont) should be exhausted before considering building new facilities.
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