Policy and Legislation

Policy and Legislation

The Policy and Legislation Unit is responsible for managing and directing DJJ’s work in the legislative and regulatory processes, certification and compliance programs, resident grievance process, and records requests.

Certification conducts audits of programs and facilities regulated by the Department and the State Board of Juvenile Justice. The team inspects and monitors court service units, group homes, juvenile detention centers, and Bon Air Juvenile Correctional Center to ensure that all programs and residential facilities comply with regulatory standards and that the conditions of placement or confinement are safe and secure. The team also provides technical assistance to programs and residential facilities to improve successfully functioning programs serving court-referred youth.

Data Management oversees the utilization of data, ensuring the agency maintains high-quality data that can be leveraged to make evidence-based decisions and provide effective programs and opportunities for youth.

  • Data and Research collaborate to analyze data and evaluate the agency’s programs and initiatives to provide DJJ and its stakeholders with information to make data-driven decisions that promote the agency’s mission. The Research Unit also monitors the approval and progress of external data requests and research partnerships. The Data Unit works with the Department of Planning and Budget and an interagency committee to develop population forecasts for juvenile detention centers and direct care.
  • Record and Data Integrity ensures the accuracy of youth records and data through effective instructions, coaching, and training.

Legislative and Regulatory Affairs supports and manages DJJ’s legislative, regulatory, and procedure functions, which include:

  • Serving as the agency point-of-contact for juvenile justice-related legislation during the General Assembly Session and throughout the year;
  • Coordinating the development, dissemination, and periodic review of juvenile justice regulations in accordance with the Administrative Process Act and Governor’s Executive Orders; and
  • Drafting and promulgating DJJ’s administrative procedures and standard operating procedures regarding agency operations and essential functions.

Records and Legal Support handles Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and other juvenile records requests, especially those in response to an attorney request or pursuant to a subpoena. The team is the primary contact regarding service of legal papers, such as lawsuits, subpoenas, or other legal notices. The team also serves as a liaison with the Office of the Attorney General, and receives questions of a policy or legal nature from the CSUs or CAP unit that may be sent out for referral.

Victim Notification and Assistance - DJJ’s Victim Liaison helps ensure victims of juvenile offenders are properly notified upon the release of a serious offender. Juvenile records, including disposition, probation, and personal data, are kept strictly confidential; however, state law does allow for certain notifications of release to victims. The DJJ Victim Liaison can assist you in navigating the process for notification. Click HERE for more information.

Rights and Accountability ensures that staff and residents’ rights are protected while at the same time striving to modify poor behavior through accountability measures. The team is staffed by Human Rights Coordinators, who operate independently from the juvenile correctional center to provide youth with an outlet for addressing concerns.

  • The Resident Grievance Program at Bon Air JCC helps identify and solve problems that may potentially harm or impede rehabilitative efforts. If there is an allegation of DJJ staff wrongdoing, the Rights and Accountability Team works with Human Resources and the Investigative Unit to make fair recommendations to management that address the staff’s behavior.
  • The OMBUDS Program,(Spanish version) allows youth and their families, staff members, professionals, and the general public to ask questions or express concerns about conditions of confinement. While the first point of contact should be the correctional center where the youth is housed, the Ombuds Line is available as an alternative at (804) 323-0888 or (833) 941-1370 (toll free).

Safety and Risk Management -- The Risk Management Unit is responsible for directing programs that promote accident prevention, loss control as well as health and safety code compliance for the Department of Juvenile Justice. We also are the point of contact with the Virginia Department of Emergency Management (VDEM) in dealing with emergencies that affect the agency. Our goal is to ensure a safe work environment for all DJJ staff as well as staying prepared to effectively respond to all emergencies that impact our operations.