frequently asked questions

Youth must have a court order, signed by a judge, committing them to the Department as a result of criminal behavior for which they have been convicted.
With the exception of very serious offenses, both the juvenile and adult justice systems generally give offenders an opportunity to demonstrate that they can learn from their mistakes. These chances are usually combined with probation supervision to ensure the safety of the community and services to help the person overcome whatever deficits they may have, such as substance abuse, job training, etc.
Virginia law requires that any person 14 years of age or older, convicted of a felony or a charge that would be a felony if committed by an adult, submit a DNA sample.
The juvenile court movement started in the United States in the early 1900s. This was a time when similar movements governing child labor, child abuse and neglect, etc., were popular. The movement for juvenile courts was established by persons who believed that children need to be treated differently than adults because they did not possess the same level of knowledge and maturity as adults; thus, they should not be held to the same legal standards as adults.
This depends on the type of commitment the juvenile received. If indeterminately committed by the judge, the juvenile's length of stay (LOS) can be 2 months to a maximum 15 months. An estimated LOS will be projected during the intake process at the Juvenile Correctional Center; however, the actual time spent incarcerated depends on several factors, including completion of treatment, good behavior, placement plan for transition back to the community, etc. If determinately committed, the judge will determine when the juvenile is released; however, no juvenile can be held in a juvenile correctional facility past his/her 21st birthday.
There is no definite time period for being placed on probation. The juvenile’s adjustment to probation will help determine the length of probation. A positive attitude along with following rules and being a responsible, law-abiding citizen will result in a shorter probation period.
They may be able to leave the state with a probation officer's permission prior to departure. They must let the probation officer know where they are going, who they will be with, how long they will be there, why they will be gone, etc. The probation officer will let them know if their visit is approved for out-of-state travel.
The judge places a juvenile on probation for an offense to give the juvenile the opportunity to change the behavior causing the problem, thus keeping the juvenile out of further trouble. Parole supervision is similar to probation where rules and regulations are concerned. However, parole supervision follows incarceration in a juvenile correctional center.
Yes. Unless a youth already has a high school diploma or GED or has been excused from the compulsory school attendance law, all juveniles attend school for a minimum of 5½ hours each day.
Each youth receives a mental health screening at the Juvenile Correctional Center when committed to the Department. If it is determined that there is a need for mental health services, the youth becomes an active case with the Behavioral Services Unit (BSU). Each correctional center has permanently assigned BSU clinical staff responsible for the mental health services of the youth in the centers. Each center also contracts the services of a board-certified psychiatrist.
Each youth receives a medical and dental screening when admitted to the juvenile correctional center, and plans of care are developed during this admission process. This plan is combined with a continuous assessment of medical and dental needs by a cadre of professional nurses at each center who function in a collaborative role with the medical and dental staff providing care to youth. Medical care is provided by a staff of board certified physicians, certified nurse practitioners and professional nurses. Dental care is provided by professional dentists assisted by dental assistants. Medical and dental care which is beyond the scope of that provided in the centers is referred to community medical and dental providers.
You must be at least 11 years of age and you cannot stay past your 21st birthday.
Call the Intake Office of the Court Service Unit in the city or county which is the home for the child at the time of the filing of the petition or had been the home of the child within six months before the filing of the petition. They will guide you through the process. Phone numbers and locations of all CSUs can be found under the “Community Programs” link on this website.
This term is broadly construed to accommodate the best interest of the child. It includes, but is not limited to, grandparents, step-parents, former step-parents, blood relatives and family members, provided any such party has intervened in the suit or is otherwise properly before the court. A party with a legitimate interest shall not include any person whose parental rights have been involuntarily terminated by court order if the child has been legally adopted, or who has been convicted of rape or incest when the child who is the subject of the petition was conceived as a result of such violation.
Call the Intake Office of the Court Service Unit in the city or county where either party resides or in the city or county where the respondent is present when the proceedings commence. An Intake Officer will assist you in completing the necessary paperwork.
VJCCCA (Virginia Juvenile Community Crime Control Act) funding goes to each locality (or groups of localities that have chosen to combine their funds). The locality designates who will develop and manage the required local plan for expending VJCCCA funding. To have a program funded, it must be included in the locality’s plan and the plan must be approved by the Board of Juvenile Justice or their designee.
VJCCCA funding may only be used to serve youth who are before intake or the court on charges alleging CHINS (Child In Need of Services), CHINSUP (Child In Need of Supervision) or delinquency. It may not be used for custody, domestic relations, or traffic offenses that do not rise to the level of misdemeanors or felonies.
Detention is used primarily for juveniles who are awaiting action of the court or transfer to a juvenile correctional facility. They usually stay in detention fewer than 21 days. Some detention centers have specialized programs so that juveniles may stay up to six months, serving a sentence that the judge has imposed. Juvenile correctional centers house juveniles who have been committed to the Department of Juvenile Justice by a judge. These youth have been found to have committed a felony or four misdemeanors. Unless committed by the judge on a determinate commitment, juveniles cannot remain in a juvenile correctional center longer than 15 months on an indeterminate commitment (see question #5).
The Department of Juvenile Justice does not operate juvenile detention centers. They are operated by localities or commissions. For a list of juvenile detention centers in Virginia, refer to the Residential Programs section of this website, go to the Secure Detention page and click on the Secure Detention Directory link in the upper right of the screen.
All vacant classified positions with DJJ are posted on Virginia's Employment and Resource Center website at Applications for positions in the court service units, halfway houses, and central office should be submitted to the Department of Human Resources, P.O. Box 1110 Richmond, VA 23218-1110.
Each applicant should receive an acknowledgement letter indicating that we have received the application, and that we will review it and contact the applicant if selected for an interview. After the closing date for the recruitment, the hiring manager or human resource representative will screen all the applications and those identified for interviews will be notified. This process usually takes 2-3 weeks. After final interviews, it could take 2-4 more weeks, depending on completion of a background investigation (if needed) and reference checks before an offer of employment can be made.
The Department will compare your related education and experience with other DJJ employees and their salaries in similar jobs. Among other factors considered are market availability (whether it’s easy or difficult to find qualified applicants), the agency business need, total compensation (including benefits) and budgetary constraints.
Based on the availability of revenues, the General Assembly determines if pay increases will be given to State employees and establishes the percent of the raise. When funding is allocated, the individual increase correlates to the employee’s annual job performance rating. If you are in your first year of service, you may be eligible for a pro-rated increase based on the length of your State employment.
At the beginning of the performance cycle, your supervisor will discuss the Employee Work Profile (EWP) with you. The EWP identifies the core job responsibilities and the supervisor’s expectations for how well you must perform your duties. Progress is assessed every six months (after six months, an interim evaluation is done and after 12 months, a formal evaluation is completed).
For a complete listing of benefits, please see the Human Resources section of this website.
  • Fulltime classified employees receive 12 paid holidays.
  • Membership in the Virginia Retirement System.
  • Enrollment in the State life insurance program (at no cost to the employee).
    • Death benefits of two times annual salary rounded up to the next thousand for natural causes.
    • Death benefits of four times your annual salary rounded up to the next thousand for accidental causes.
  • Options to purchase additional life insurance.
  • Short-term and long-term disability.
  • Sick and personal leave coverage.