Northern Va. cities want input on future of juvenile detention center

Arlington County, the City of Alexandria and the City of Falls Church in Virginia are holding community meetings to determine the future of a youth detention center shared by each jurisdiction.

An independent criminal justice contractor, The Moss Group, is evaluating changes that could be made to Northern Virginia Juvenile Detention Center.

The public is invited to hear more about the study and provide feedback during three meetings in November:

  • Nov. 14, Thursday, 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at City Hall (Laurel Room), 300 Park Ave., Falls Church
  • Nov. 20, Wednesday, 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Lee Center Exhibit Hall, 1108 Jefferson St., Alexandria
  • Nov. 21, Thursday, 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Central Library Auditorium, 1015 N. Quincy St., Arlington

If you’re unable to make the meetings, you can share your input until Dec. 6 through a survey. The entire survey that takes approximately 5 minutes to complete.

The contractor is researching alternatives, which include closing the center and detaining youths in another center in Northern Virginia. A news release, from the City of Alexandria, said use of the center has steadily declined over the last decade: with a reduction of over 70% between 2006 to 2019.

The 70-bed, secure facility is located in the City of Alexandria but is jointly shared and operated by all three jurisdictions.

It serves adolescents typically 16 to 17 years old, with multiple misdemeanor or felony offenses, considered at moderate or high risk, and been determined by a court to present significant dangers to themselves or others.

These adolescents often have significant behavioral health, family, child welfare or educational needs.

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