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 West Virginia to receive juvenile justice training, technical assistance

4/6/2015

West Virginia Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety
Division of Juvenile Services
Stephanie Bond, Director

1200 Quarrier St.
Charleston, WV 25301

Media Contact:  Lawrence Messina
(304) 558-2930
Lawrence.C.Messina@wv.gov

For Immediate Release
April 6, 2015


West Virginia to receive juvenile justice training,

technical assistance

 

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – West Virginia is getting a well-timed boost toward ensuring the success of its new, ground-breaking juvenile justice reforms.

West Virginia is among just five applicants selected to receive the inaugural round of training and technical assistance offered by the recently formed Center for Coordinated Assistance to States (CCAS).

This learning opportunity focuses on helping different entities that deal with at-risk youth work together and effectively. The Multi-System Collaboration Training and Technical Assistance will include webinars, teleconference discussions and mentoring services.

The key participants in West Virginia’s juvenile justice reforms will receive this assistance: the Division of Juvenile Services, part of the Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety; the Bureau for Children and Families at the Department of Health and Human Resources; the Department of Education’s Office of Institutional Education Programs; the Supreme Court’s Juvenile Justice Commission; and the behavioral health management company PSIMED.

The CCAS is a partnership of the Center for Juvenile Justice Reform at Georgetown University’s McCourt School of Public Policy, the American Institutes for Research, and the Council of Juvenile Correctional Administrators. The U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention is funding the effort.

CCAS notified West Virginia of its successful application in late March, just in time to aid the enactment of comprehensive reforms to the state’s juvenile justice system. Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin signed his historic measure, Senate Bill 393, into law on Thursday, April 2, following its passage by a unanimous Legislature.

The reforms reflect recommendations from the West Virginia Intergovernmental Task Force on Juvenile Justice, created by Gov. Tomblin and assisted by The Pew Charitable Trusts. This data- and research-driven approach emphasizes accountability, public safety and community-based services, with a goal of keeping-risk youths in their homes instead of institutions whenever possible.

Juvenile Services Director Stephanie Bond credited PSIMED for notifying West Virginia officials of the collaborative learning opportunity, and then playing a major role in successfully applying for it.

“As West Virginia begins to apply the newly penned legislation for juvenile justice reform, the technical assistance from CCAS will provide an invaluable opportunity to guide key state agencies as they implement changes that are proven successful,” said Trudi Blaylock, Vice President of Operations for PSIMED's Juvenile Services Division. “As a state, we have a unified goal to coordinate our efforts and resources to guide system-involved youth toward a pro-social and productive future.”

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