On Sunday, August 27th, DJJ relaunched an old tradition, hosting the first Family Day at Bon Air Juvenile Correctional Center in at least five years.
Governor Terry McAuliffe and First Lady Dorothy McAuliffe were on hand, along with Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security Brian Moran, former DJJ residents who came back to share their success stories, and more than 300 family members who traveled from as far away as Dallas, TX, to celebrate a new direction for our agency, and their futures.
Unlike typical visitation days, the Family Day provided the opportunity for the families to be outside with their kids, play games, eat together, and have a little fun. They played cornhole, watched sack races, strolled the grounds and got to know the staff members that have been working with their children.
Governor McAuliffe, whose support of our transformation effort has been so instrumental to its success, thoroughly enjoyed watching residents present musical numbers, including two songs from “Hamilton,” and sharp and evocative poetry they had written. He spoke about the outstanding work of the DJJ staff, whose professionalism and dedication through the last three years of culture change is having profound results with the young people in our system. He reminded us all that everyone makes mistakes, sometimes big ones … but that everyone deserves a second chance.