DJJ’s Reentry Unit is committed to providing reentry services to juvenile offenders returning to the community from commitment. Planning for reentry begins when a youth is committed to DJJ with the collaborative efforts of DJJ staff, the community and the youth’s family. Reentry is the preparation and transition of a person from DJJ commitment back to the community. Productive reentry is a seamless combination of services and resources that remove hurdles and barriers to educate and prepare youth to succeed as productive and contributing members of society.
To create a seamless transition we implement numerous programs and activities designed to improve outcomes for youth upon return to the community.
Reentry Advocates are assigned by regions to help create a seamless reentry process, connect youth to employment and vocational services and to link youth and families with services in the community. Reentry Advocates partner with local government agencies and community stakeholders to connect youth and their families with benefits and resources, employability services and skills and to connect them with positive adult role models.
This program prepares juvenile offenders to reenter their communities as productive citizens by pairing them with supportive and encouraging adults. Mentors serve as positive role models by providing guidance, support and encouragement to foster personal growth, to increase exposure to pro-social activities and ultimately to a reduce recidivism.
Reentry Mentoring pairs mentors with youths committed to DJJ. Mentors are recruited from the youth’s community and are connected with the youth prior to release.
Group Mentoring programs invite individuals and groups to work with a group of youths that reside in the Virginia juvenile correctional centers. The time commitment for this program varies.
If you are interested in becoming a DJJ mentor, please complete this application and either e-mail it to the Reentry Advocate assigned to your area of interest or mail it to:
The Virginia Department of Juvenile Justice
Reentry Mentoring Program
600 East Main Street, 20th Floor
Richmond, VA 23219
Attn: Joyce Biringer
Be sure to include your name, phone number, address and e-mail address.
Other services offered through the Reentry Unit include:
Area workforce development centers partner with local Court Service Units to offer career exploration, job search assistance, labor market information, financial literacy education, and employer recruitment activities. SNAPs also provide youth access to specialized training in workforce development subject matters delivered through a virtual on-demand career portal, scheduled individual assistance, and a calendar of available workshops and career related events.
DJJ has partnered with the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to establish a remote testing site at the Yvonne B. Miller High School campus to encourage youth to obtain a driver’s license upon release to the community. Eligible youth can take the knowledge portion of the driver’s education test and, upon successful completion, receive a learner’s permit prior to release.
For additional information, or to inquire about programs in your area, a list of Reentry Advocates is below.