TO: Potential Public Commenter
FROM: Department of Juvenile Justice (Board)
SUBJECT: Request for Public Comments on the “Guidelines for Determining the Length of Stay of Juveniles Indeterminately Committed to the Department of Juvenile Justice (Length of Stay Guidelines)”
Request for Public Comments
NOTICE is hereby given that the Board of Juvenile Justice (Board) is considering modifications to its “Guidelines for Determining the Length of Stay of Juveniles Indeterminately Committed to the Department of Juvenile Justice (Length of Stay Guidelines)” as amended by the Board on July 1, 2008. The Board has requested that the public comment period for the Length of stay Guidelines be extended until June 26, 2015. The following documents are available in draft format for review and public comment:
- “Guidelines for Determining the Length of Stay (LOS) of Juveniles Indeterminately Committed to the Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ).” The document contains the proposed LOS Guidelines.
- “Guidelines for Determining the Length of Stay (LOS) of Juveniles Indeterminately Committed to the Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) 2015 Proposed Revisions.” The document provides a one page summary of the supporting data and proposed changes to the LOS Guidelines.
- “2015 Proposed Guidelines for Determining the Length of Stay (LOS) of Juveniles Indeterminately Committed to the Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ). Comparison of the Existing (2008) LOS Guidelines to the 2015 Proposed LOS Guidelines.” The document provides a detail summary of the differences between the 2008 LOS Guidelines and the 2015 proposed LOS Guidelines.
Public Comment Period
The public comment period has been extended and will close Friday, June 26, 2015. The Board will accept written comments by email (Barbara.firstname.lastname@example.org) and postal mail addressed to Barbara Peterson-Wilson (Department of Juvenile Justice PO Box 1110, Richmond, Virginia 23218-1110). Additionally, the Virginia Regulatory Town Hall website has added a new feature which allows agencies to open a public comment forum in connection with any General Notice. Public comment can now also be submitted through the Town Hall website. In order to be considered comments must include the full name, address, and telephone number of the person commenting and be received by June 26, 2015.
Background-Statutory Authority and Mandated Solicitation of Public Comments
Except for juveniles committed as “serious juvenile offenders” under §16.1-285.1 of the Code of Virginia, commitments to the DJJ “shall be for an indeterminate period having regard to the welfare of the juvenile and interests of the public” (Code of Virginia § 16.1-285). Section 66-10 of the Code of Virginia gives the Board the authority to establish the LOS Guidelines for juveniles indeterminately committed to DJJ and the section requires the Board to make the guidelines available for public comment.
Purpose and Intent of the Proposed Revisions
The modifications are intended to update the Length of Stay Guidelines that were amended in 2008. DJJ is granted broad discretion to determine when a juvenile should be released, and the Board is directed to provide “guidelines” that the DJJ consults in making decisions concerning a resident’s length of stay and release. Broadly speaking, the role of the Board’s guidelines is to express the factors that should be weighed in deciding when to release an indeterminately committed juvenile. DJJ is responsible for applying these guidelines generally and for making exceptions with regard to the welfare of the juvenile and the interests of the public.
Copies of the Current and Proposed Length of Stay Guidelines
A copy of the 2008 LOS Guidelines, which is currently in effect, is available from the Regulatory Town Hall at http://townhall.virginia.gov/index.cfm, Department (Board) of Juvenile Justice, Guidance Documents. The draft of the proposed LOS Guidelines and the current 2008 LOS Guidelines may be obtained from the DJJ’s Web Site at http://www.djj.virginia.gov/ResidentialPages/LOS.aspx or the Legislative and Regulatory Unit at the Department of Juvenile Justice 600 E. Main Street (20th Floor), PO Box 1110, Richmond, Virginia 23218-1110, or by calling (804) 588-3902, or via e-mail to Barbara.email@example.com.