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Implementing Juvenile Justice System Change in West Virginia

Community Resources for JusticeThis publication from Community Resources for Justice shows how West Virginia overhauled its community supervision programs, equipped staff with new skills, and improved the process for making treatment and supervision decisions in order to meet its goal of reducing the number of juveniles in secure facilities 16 percent by 2020. The state legislature set that target in Senate Bill 393 (S.B. 393), which passed in 2015 when West Virginia’s rate of youth committed to secure detention facilities was on the rise, despite a falling crime rate. S.B. 393 put in place new policies and procedures designed to decrease the number of youth being placed in secure residential facilities and increase the use of community-based programs shown to reduce recidivism. Early indications suggest West Virginia is well on its way to reaching its juvenile justice goals.