DJJ Family Engagement

DJJ’s “VisuVisit” Program allows residents to visit with family members via computer video connection.

Youth involved with the juvenile justice system are more likely to succeed when parents, guardians or other persons provide support and take an active part in their rehabilitation. DJJ invites family members to participate in their young person’s work with us throughout his or her involvement in the juvenile justice system. Family members are encouraged to share their ideas and concerns and to ask questions. Helping our young people takes all of us working together. Because you know your child best, you can be a powerful ally to any program serving your child. Family involvement in planning and treatment will decrease the likelihood of your child re-offending.

Unfortunately, there is no simple way to explain why children decide to commit offenses that result in court involvement. Parents and juveniles face extreme hardships before, during, and after they are involved in the juvenile justice system. Families often feel blamed and confused during the juvenile justice process. We are here to be a partner with you. We hope to help your child accept responsibility for his or her crime and to move forward in a positive direction.

If your child has been committed to the custody of DJJ it is more important than ever before to be a vocal and active advocate on behalf of your child. DJJ wants you to be involved with your child and the rehabilitative process during their commitment and enhancing successful re-entry efforts upon release.

Whether on probation in the community or confined in a facility, here are strategies for managing the process and helping your child get the most of the experience:

  • Stay involved through attending meetings, keeping in phone contact with the professionals working with your child, and, if your child is in a residential placement, keeping regular and frequent contact with them.
  • Encourage your child to be of good behavior, do well in school, and make the most of whatever services are being offered. The better they do, and the quicker they do it, the shorter their time on probation or in custody.
  • If you have questions or concerns do not be shy about calling the probation officer, case manager, or counselor in the facility.
  • Be an advocate for your child and make sure we know what you think they need in terms of education, treatment and support.
  • Be an advocate for yourself and your family and let us know how we can help you help your child.

Visitation Procedure

DJJ is committed to fostering consistent communication and contact between residents and their families and natural supports. This relationship is vital to assist residents in maintaining strong family and community ties during their commitment and enhancing successful re-entry efforts upon release. Click HERE to read “DJJ Visitation Rules and Privileges.”

Setting Up A Phone Call Account

Effective December 1, 2015 the calling rates at all DJJ Juvenile Correctional Centers were lowered. The rate for any kind of call is now approximately 4 cents per minute plus applicable taxes and fees. Residents must use an “Approved Call List” verified and approved by their facilities. The call list can include up to 10 phone numbers. For a resident to be able to place calls, the resident’s family must set up a GTL Advance Pay Account for their phone number. To set up this account, call (877) 650-4249 and choose option #4. A minimum of $25 is needed to set up the Advance Pay Account, but no service fee is charged.

Prison Rape Elimination Act

The Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) was passed and signed into law by President George W. Bush in 2003. It was the first federal civil statute to focus on addressing sexual violence in juvenile facilities, jails, prison, lockups and other secure facilities. This Act established the National Prison Rape Elimination Commission. One of its most significant tasks was to carry out studies on how prison rape affected the country and to recommend national standards “for enhancing the detection, prevention, reduction, and punishment of prison rape.” Those proposed standards were published in June 2009, and were turned over to the U.S. Department of Justice for review. The U.S. Department of Justice revised the standards and published them as a final rule in 2012. DJJ has a zero tolerance toward any incident involving the sexual assault, sexual harassment, or rape of a resident. DJJ ensures residents are protected from sexual assault and sexual harassment and is dedicated to preventing, detecting , and responding to such conduct. For more information go to:

Additional Resources

  • Annie E. Casey Foundation – Devoted to developing a brighter future for millions of children at risk of poor educational, economic, social and health outcomes.
  • Justice For Families (J4F) – A national alliance of local organizations committed to ending the youth incarceration epidemic.
  • Family Justice Program – Run by the Vera Institute of Justice, the program provides training and technical assistance to help community-based organizations and government agencies adopt strength-based and family-focused case management styles.
  • National Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health – A national family-run organization linking more than 120 chapters and state organizations that focuses on issues of children and youth with emotional, behavioral, or mental health needs and their families.
  • Juvenile Justice Information Exchange (JJIE) – The only publication covering juvenile justice and related issues nationally on a consistent, daily basis.
  • Mental Health and Juvenile Justice Collaborative for Change – A multi-dimensional resource center that shares information on mental health reforms developed by states involved with Models for Change: Systems Reform in Juvenile Justice.
  • Side by Side – Side by Side formerly known as ROSMY is an organization dedicated to creating a supportive community, and space where LGBTQ+ youth can be themselves. Side by Side, assists youths’ in their journey to self-discovery, and cultivating a community that supports youth, parents, families, schools, and faith communities.
  • Diversity Richmond – The Richmond Gay Community Foundation and the Gay Richmond Community combined in April 2015 to form Diversity Richmond. The organization is dedicated to serving the LGBTQ+ community, their families, and partners. This multifaceted organization provides support for the agencies, and groups that serve Central Virginia’s LGBTQ+ community, and educate the public about the many issues facing the LGBTQ+ community.


Contact Info

Diane Leiter
Family Engagement Coordinator
(804) 314-5242


Free Transportation to DJJ Facilities

Length of Stay Guidelines

Court Do's and Don'ts

Resident Handbook

Resident Handbook - Spanish

Zero-Tolerance Board Policy

Administrative Directive for Investigations