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West Virginia's Senate Bill 393: Comprehensive Reform Implementation Successes

NCJ Number
Date Published
1 page
This report summarizes the provisions of West Virginia's juvenile justice reform legislation (Senate Bill 393), features of the technical assistance for implementing it, and the outcomes of the implementation.
The objectives of this legislation are to increase community services for justice-involved juveniles, limit out-of-home placements for such juveniles, and reinvest the savings from reduced juvenile confinement in community supervision and treatment. The legislation increases community services for justice-involved juveniles by expanding youth reporting centers (YRCs) as a community-based option for youth who commit minor offenses. Out-of-home placements for justice-involved youth are limited by the establishment of a 3-month limit of stay in residential placement. The legislation requires that savings from reduced out-of-home placement be reinvested in community-based services for juveniles. The technical assistance for the implementation of these legislative provisions includes an evaluation of existing YRCs using performance measures based in proven principles of YRC effectiveness. A new YRC framework and handbook, as well as an implementation plan have been developed for new YRCs. Technical assistance for the limiting of out-of-home placements includes monitoring scoring consistency in risk assessment. Technical assistance for the reinvestment of savings under the reform effort includes funding for the training of staff in implementing "Aggression Replacement Training" (ART) and in conducting evidence-based program assessments. Outcomes from implementing the legislation are the opening of two new YRCs as an alternative to confinement, a 10-percent reduction in the average daily custody population for juveniles, and an expansion of the number of youth that can be served in the ART program.

Date Published: January 1, 2017