RICHMOND – Governor McAuliffe today announced that the Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) has awarded contracts to two experienced service coordination agencies to develop a statewide continuum of evidence-based treatment services and alternatives to placement in state operated juvenile correctional centers. The two agencies awarded the contracts are AMIkids (AMI) and Evidence Based Associates (EBA), and will assist in the transformation of Virginia’s juvenile justice system.
“Transforming Virginia’s juvenile justice system toward community support networks and positive behavior reform has been a top priority of this administration since it began,” said Governor McAuliffe. “Far too often, a young person’s opportunity for treatment and rehabilitation depends on where they live or where they go to court. The award of these contracts and the development of a statewide system of services will help us tackle this problem of ‘justice by geography’ and ensure that, when young people get in trouble, they have access to the right kind of help and resources. I commend the Department of Juvenile Justice for their hard work on this issue and appreciate the strong bi-partisan support for reinvesting savings from facility downsizing toward developing these services and interventions.”
The initial work of the contracts will involve identifying existing treatment capacity, developing new treatment capacity, and building the infrastructure necessary for referrals, coordination, billing, and performance measurement. AMI will coordinate services in the southern and eastern regions of Virginia, while EBA will coordinate services in the northern, central, and western regions of Virginia. Service delivery will begin in 2017.
“Community-based services, particularly those that are evidence-based, are often more effective and less costly than an out-of-home placement or commitment to a juvenile correctional center,” stated Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security Brian Moran. “It will be critical that we give DJJ the opportunity to hold on to its savings from the closure of Beaumont Juvenile Correctional Center so that it can make these investments and develop the services we know will help youth get back on the right track and improve public safety.”
“To truly support the youth, families and communities we serve, we need to make sure that each court and each community across the Commonwealth has access to the right tools and supports,” said Department of Juvenile Justice Director Andy Block. “The alternative placements and evidence-based services we develop through these contracts will mean safer and stronger communities and fewer young people committed to state custody.”
AMIkids is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping troubled youth develop into responsible and productive citizens. The company has served more than 130,000 youth nationwide since its founding almost 50 years ago. To learn more, visit www.amikids.org.
Evidence Based Associates is a national behavioral health care management and technical assistance provider that provides programmatic, operational and administrative support related to the implementation of evidence-based practices (EBPs). The company has provided service coordination in several other states. To learn more, visit www.evidencebasedassociates.com.