The City’s Department of Justice Services received notification on Tuesday, January 7, that the City’s Juvenile Detention Center, 1700 Oliver Hill Way, has been certified for a period of three years. The certification was issued by the Director of the Virginia Department of Juvenile Justice, Mark Gooch following two 2013 State audits, performed in June and October, that found the City’s Juvenile Detention Center to be completely compliant. This certification follows the Virginia Board of Juvenile Justice’s six-month certification that was issued on June 12, 2013. The new three year certification is in effect until June 12, 2016.
In April of 2012, Mayor Dwight C. Jones closed the City’s Juvenile Detention Center and relinquished the facility’s license citing a loss of confidence in its management and operation. The June 2013 six-month certification allowed the facility to reopen following the successful completion of the state audit.
“My primary focus for this facility has and always will be that we provide for what is in the best interest of the youth we have been charged to serve. We want the young people who are residents of this facility to know that there are people who care for them, people who want the best for them and people who have an unwavering desire to see them succeed in life,” said Mayor Jones. “Since closing the facility in 2012, we have been busy putting in place key personnel and performing the needed upgrades that have moved us in the direction of having a facility that is properly run and well-managed. The State’s three year certification speaks highly of the steps taken by the City as a one year certification was expected at this time.”
The Mayor further stated that, “I would like to thank David Hicks, my senior policy advisor and interim director for the City’s Department of Justice Services, for overseeing efforts needed to resolve the issues that have plagued this facility for quite some time. I would also like to recognize the facility’s new superintendent Rodney Baskerville and the staffing he has put in place, as they too have been on the front line of implementing not only the needed changes, but the change in culture that was so desperately needed for this facility.”