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Please visit DJJ's COVID page for updates and information

Director's Message -- May 12, 2020

It’s been five weeks since DJJ first implemented a two-week quarantine to get a handle on the spread of the COVID-19 virus among our residents, as I described in my last message. During that time, thanks to an aggressive testing protocol in which we tested each youth who showed any symptoms or even a slightly elevated temperature of 99°F, 26 youth tested positive. Most of these residents would not have been tested in the community. While this was concerning to all of us, these aggressive steps have helped significantly in our efforts to keep our residents healthy. I’m pleased to report that since that time, only three additional residents have tested positive; and all that have tested positive have recovered, with no residents with an active case currently in our infirmary. Nearly all of those who tested positive never showed any outward symptoms; the others exhibited only very mild symptoms.

We have significantly lowered the number of positive tests because of the aggressive testing, and continue to test youth every day, as warranted. To date, we have tested well over 100 youth. While today’s results of no COVID 19 positive youth in treatment are promising, the Virginia Department of Health has told us that it may take some time to totally eliminate it on campus, just as it is difficult to eliminate in the community.

At the end of the initial quarantine period, outside contractors came in and sanitized the facility living units. This involved moving staff and residents from the living area, . . .

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DJJ Family Engagement

We know that having your child involved in the juvenile justice system is probably stressful and difficult for you and them. During their time under our supervision or custody we want you to know that DJJ is committed to fostering consistent communication between you, your child, and DJJ staff. This communication and partnership is vital to getting your young person back on the right track and on with their life.

We want to be a resource for you during this challenging time, and support your efforts to continue to serve as a resource for your child, whether they are still at home or placed elsewhere. Clicking on the links below will help you understand more about our system and expectations, and give you more tools to help you through this process.

DJJ Resources

The more we know about the youth we serve, the more effective we can be in providing services and support that will make them successful. DJJ’s Legislative and Research Department designs and coordinates a wide variety of reports, executed via an exhaustive examination of available data and a thorough review of the most up-to-date literature and best practices in the juvenile justice field.

Additional Resources