Basic services, 2017

  • Overall

    Mostly state operated

  • Detention

    State operated

  • Probation

    Locally operated

  • Reentry

    State operated

West Virginia's delinquency services are organized at the both the state and local level. Community supervision in West Virginia is locally administered through 31 circuit courts. The West Virginia Division of Juvenile Services, an independent juvenile corrections agency, administers secure detention, commitments to state public facilities and provides aftercare services for youth leaving state facilities. A DJS Community Resource Coordinator supports youth returning to the community for 12 months.

Purpose clauses, 2016

  • No clause

  • Parens patriae

  • Due process era

  • Balanced and Restorative Justice (BARJ)

  • Developmental Approach

Corrections agency, 2015

  • Independent juvenile corrections agency

  • Family/child welfare agency or division

  • Broad human services agency

  • Adult corrections agency or division

The West Virginia Division of Juvenile Services (DJS) administers commitments to state juvenile correctional facilities and provides aftercare services for youth leaving those facilities. A DJS aftercare manager supports youth returning to the community for 12 months.

Intake and diversion, 2016

Initial intake and court diversion decision is at the discretion of the prosecutor or the juvenile court intake officer, divided by offense.

Post-petition court diversion time limit/s exist.

Solitary confinement, 2016

  • Prohibits punitive confinement

  • Limits punitive confinement

  • No limits on punitive confinement

  • Did not respond

Solitary confinement for punitive purposes is allowed in West Virginia's juvenile correctional facilities. Confinement can be imposed for up to 3 days per offense after a due process hearing. A violent offense can incur up to 10 days confinement. Confinement cannot exceed 10 days.  (Adapted from 51 Jurisdiction Survey of Juvenile Solitary Confinement Rules in Juvenile Justice Systems, 2016. Lowenstein Center for the Public Interest at Lowenstein Sandler LLP)

Release decision, 2016

  • Agency

  • Court

  • Parole board

  • Agency and court

Release decisions for youth committed to the Division of Juvenile Services are the responsibility of the committing courts. The court makes release decisions based upon recommendations and input provided by DJS. A risk assessment tool is used to inform release decisions in some jurisdictions.

Risk assessment, 2020

Organization 2013 2017 2020
Statewide uniform assessment
Layered/regional assessment
Locally administered assessment

In West Virginia, juvenile probation is administered locally across 31 circuit courts. In 2015, West Virginia passed legislation (Senate Bill 393) requiring the administration of a research based risk needs assessment tool within several agencies. including juvenile probation.  All juvenile probation departments uniformly adopted the Youth Level of Service/Case Management Inventory (YLS/CMI).  Prior to adopting the YLS/CMI statewide, local policy governed the use of risk assessments, resulting in various tools in use across the state. 

Sex offender registration, 2015

Does not register

Risk instruments, 2017

  • Statute or agency policy

    Required by state or administrative regulation

  • Agency recommended

    Recommended by probation oversite agency

Risk instruments tool used
Youth Level of Service/Case Management Inventory (YLS/CMI)

Mental health screening, 2014

Requires a research-based mental health screening

  • Secure detention

  • Probation

  • Corrections

Mental health screening tool used
Massachusetts Youth Screening Instrument –Version 2 (MAYSI-2)

West Virginia requires the use of a research based mental health screening tool in all detention and correction facilities. A Department of Juvenile Services (DJS) policy requires the MAYSI-2 to be administered at all detention and correction facilities. Mental health screening is not currently required in traditional juvenile probation, but a judge can order a mental health evaluation if desired.

Frameworks for evidence-based practices, 2014

  • Statute

    Supporting commitment to EBPs

  • Administrative regulations

    Either in corrections, probation, or the juvenile court

  • Support center

    Or collaboration dedicated to coordinating activities around implementing, evaluating, and sustaining EBPs

  • No stance

    No official stance on EBPs

  • Did not respond

    State did not respond to the survey

West Virginia has created the Justice Center for Evidence Based Practice (JCEBP) supporting research, effective planning/coordination and the use evidence for informed decisions making. The focus of the Center's work includes: synthesis of current research, the translation of studies and data into resources for policymakers, education and training on EBPPs, and working with all levels of the West Virginia criminal justice system to help integrate evidence based policies and practices into their work. It offers a single office that will be able to provide the West Virginia’s criminal justice community with a one-stop-shop, for research, training, technical assistance and evaluation of current, promising and evidence based practices. No definition of evidence based practices adopted by JCEBP. JCEBP funds EBP locally but has not selected a group of EBPS from which jurisdiction must choose.

Recidivism reporting, 2016

Does not publish recidivism consistently over time.

About this project

Juvenile Justice GPS (Geography, Policy, Practice, Statistics) is a project to develop a repository providing state policy makers and system stakeholders with a clear understanding of the juvenile justice landscape in the states.

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