This report begins by explaining that since October 2015, the Re-Invest in Supportive Environments (RISE) for Youth Campaign Coalition has strived to reduce the number of youth in Virginia involved in the juvenile justice system, and increase the number of evidence- informed community-based programs and placements. It then lists the principles driving the program and cites statistics on the number of youth incarcerated in Virginia, the recidivism of formerly incarcerated youth, the overrepresentation of African American youth, and the lack of mathematics and English proficiency among incarcerated youth. The creation of a task force to study the future of juvenile prison in Virginia is noted and recommendations are provided for the Department of Juvenile Justice, the Task Force on Juvenile Correctional Centers, and communities across Virginia. Recommendations include: give impacted youth, families, and advocates the opportunity to have meaningful input in the development of Virginia’s future juvenile justice system and secure facilities; implement evidence- informed community alternatives that promote positive youth development and emphasize support, accountability, therapy, and relationship building; close Beaumont and Bon Air Juvenile Correctional Centers; recruit diverse and directly impacted community members to serve as members of the Task Force; consider implementing a “Missouri Model” of facilities across the Commonwealth; support and speak out in favor of evidence- informed programs and placements for youth in Virginia; meet with local legislators and elected officials to encourage them to “RISE for Youth”; and mentor, hire, and train youth who are at-risk or have been in contact with the juvenile justice system in order to reduce their likelihood of recidivism. 60 references.
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