The Policy & Planning Unit consists of the Certification Unit, the Ombudsman-Grievance Coordinators Unit, and the Legislation and Research Division. The Unit is responsible for managing and directing the Department’s work in research and evaluation, the legislative and the regulatory process, certification and compliance programs, and the Ombudsman and resident grievance process.
The Certification Unit conducts certification audits of programs and facilities regulated by the Department and the State Board of Juvenile Justice. The Certification Unit inspects and monitors court services units, group homes, juvenile detention centers, juvenile correctional centers, and the Department’s halfway houses for the purpose of ensuring that all programs and residential facilities are complying with regulatory standards and that the conditions of placement or confinement are safe and secure. The Certification Unit also provides technical assistance to programs and residential facilities to improve successfully functioning programs serving court referred youth.
The Legislation and Research Division (LARD) supports and manages DJJ’s legislative, policy, regulatory, research, data reporting, and strategic planning functions.
- Legislation - LARD serves as the agency point-of-contact for juvenile justice-related legislation during the General Assembly Session and throughout the year. Staff review, analyze, draft, and provide informational testimony regarding pertinent legislation in concert with direction from the Governor’s Office.
- Policies & Procedures - DJJ’s policies, administrative procedures, and standard operating procedures regarding agency operations and essential functions are drafted and promulgated by policy staff within LARD.
- Regulations - LARD coordinates the development, dissemination, and periodic review of juvenile justice regulations in accordance with the Administrative Process Act and Governor’s Executive Orders. Staff from LARD also provide administrative support to the state Board of Juvenile Justice.
- Research & Data Reporting - LARD oversees the design and coordination of routine and official reports, legislatively-mandated studies, and collaborations with external partners. These projects are executed via an exhaustive examination of available data points and a thorough review of modern literature and best practices regarding juvenile justice. LARD Research Analysts provide grants management and grants technical assistance services to other units within DJJ.
- Strategic Planning - DJJ tracks its progress toward both long-term and short-term goals through effective program assessments and performance measures. LARD personnel work with agency executive staff and the Department of Planning and Budget on establishing and revising the agency’s strategic plan.