DJJ News

Expressions XXIV Art Exhibit

December 21, 2015 – Beaumont JCC residents recently presented a huge quilt they had worked on for nearly a year to Governor Terry McAuliffe and First Lady Dorothy McAuliffe at the Governor’s Mansion. Inspired by the guidance of quilting instructor Roy Mitchell who tells his students “You Are Somebody” when they enter his classroom, DJJ’s residents created a truly inspirational piece of Virginia-themed art that the Governor has promised will hang in the lobby of the Patrick Henry Building for all Virginians who visit to enjoy. With their poised and confident speeches in front of the Governor and all those attending, our residents were excellent ambassadors for DJJ and the bright future DJJ works to provide for those in its care.

October 1, 2015 – Proclamation from President Obama dedicating October as National Youth Justice Awareness Month. If any of you have ideas about ways we might use this month to recognize our work and one another please let your supervisors know. I also encourage to read the text of the announcement which is provided below. I know that all of you share the sentiment expressed by the President, when he asks that, during this month, we, “Recommit to ensuring our justice system acts not as a means for perpetuating a cycle of hopelessness, but as a framework for uplifting our young people with a sense of purpose so they can contribute to America's success.”

October 1, 2015 – I am writing to share some very good news with all of you. Last night we were notified that we were one of only three states in the country to receive a grant of more than $700,000 from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention to support our efforts to improve, strengthen, and reform our reentry system and services. The federal funds we receive, combined with matching sources, will give us more than $1,000,000 to dedicate to this initiative. The funding will support increased training and technical assistance to staff, invigorate our efforts to engage families and supportive adults in reentry planning and support for our committed youth, catalyze the delivery of evidence based reentry services, and allow us to adopt and implement an effective, statewide reentry system.

While many of you helped us craft our plan, I want to particularly thank Ashaki McNeal for leading both the development of a statewide plan, and the crafting of our proposal. I also want to thank our new Deputy Director for Community Programs, Valerie Boykin who, even before she started in her new position, was working on the proposal and will be overseeing this effort. Thank you!!

August 24, 2015 – Attendees at the DJJ Training Academy were surprised by a very special visitor last Wednesday as Governor Terry McAuliffe stopped by to meet DJJ staff and thank them for the exceptional and difficult work they are doing to transform the agency and better serve our youth. Deputy Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security, Victoria Cochran, joined the governor in showing appreciation to those in attendance.

The day started like most days at the training center, with a busy schedule that included the entirety of the Division of Education for Convocation Week, a Basic Skills class of Resident Specialists, and the extended DJJ leadership team attending dialogue training. Around 3:00 P.M., excitement started to build as word of the Governor’s unexpected arrival spread across campus.

Gov. McAuliffe first addressed the education folks assembled for Convocation in Knox Hall. The crowd spontaneously stood and applauded as the governor made his way to the front of the room. The governor noted the importance of education as the cornerstone of our recidivism reduction efforts and gave the audience the opportunity to ask questions.

The governor then met with the academy class of resident specialists in training. We believe this is the first time a sitting governor has met with an academy class in the history of DJJ. The class was in the gym learning restraints and defensive tactics at the time. The governor encouraged the RSTs and noted the important role they play in transformation to the Community Treatment Model in the JCCs. The governor took the time to field a few questions and even put some folks on the spot by asking what they would most like to see change to make our jobs easier.

Governor McAuliffe’s final stop was in Smyth Hall, where DJJ leadership was assembled to receive another round of dialogue training. Learning the art of dialogue is an ongoing agency initiative to improve communication amongst our employees and with our youth, allowing us to have more meaningful and productive interactions. The governor noted that he liked to surprise people with some of his agency visits and he certainly achieved that with the leadership team. Gov. McAuliffe spoke passionately about the crucial role DJJ plays in making sure our communities stay safe and that young people are given the chance to contribute to society and not be defined by their mistakes. He noted the importance of the change to a more therapeutic environment and thanked the team for the difficult work that is underway to make that change happen.

It was a fun way to end the day and great reminder that our efforts are supported and appreciated at the highest levels.

What's Working
December 16, 2015 The Face Of Patience
December 2, 2015 Filling The Post High School Gap
November 17, 2015 The Faces Behind The Numbers
November 2, 2015 Honoring Barrett's Legacy Of Caring
October 21, 2015 Mental Health Clinicians A Boon To CSUs
October 5, 2015 Guidance With Style
September 22, 2015 DJJ Aces First-Ever PREA Audit
September 08, 2015 CSU 5 Takes Steps to Lend A Hand
August 24, 2015 Certification Unit Ensures Quality Quarters for Kids
August 10, 2015 'You have no choice but to be positive'
June 26, 2015 Yvonne B. Miller High School Graduates, Families Celebrate At DJJ's First-Ever Joint Commencement Ceremony
May 11, 2015 Bon Air Unit 55 Already Embodies Community Model
May 4, 2015 Lessons In Trust For Man and Beast
The Source
September 16, 2015 Director Welcomes Newest RST Recruits To The Team
August 5, 2015 Introducing the Central Admission and Placement (CAP) Team
June 22, 2015 "There's A Difference Already"
June 4, 2015 First Community Treatment Unit Now At Bon Air
May 4, 2015 First Resident Specialist Class Now Underway at VPSTC
DJJ Forum
August 6, 2015 First Community Model Units In Place; Physical Changes Create Relaxed Feel
March 6, 2015 Transformation Beginning at JCCs