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§49-5A-6a. State plan for predispositional detention centers for juveniles.

(a) The Division of Juvenile Services of the Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety shall develop a comprehensive plan to maintain and improve a unified state system of regional predispositional detention centers for juveniles. The plan shall be predicated upon the maximum utilization of existing resources, facilities and procedures and shall take into consideration recommendations from the Department of Health and Human Resources, the Regional Jail and Correctional Facility Authority, the Division of Corrections, the Governor's committee on crime, delinquency and correction, the Supreme Court of Appeals, the state Board of Education, detention center personnel, juvenile probation officers and judicial and law-enforcement officials from throughout the state.

The principal purpose of the plan shall be, through statements of policy and program goals, to provide first for the effective and efficient use of existing regional juvenile detention facilities and the prudent allocation of resources for any future expansion or addition.

(b) The plan shall identify operational problems of secure detention centers, including, but not limited to, overcrowding, security and violence within centers, difficulties in moving juveniles through the centers within required time periods, health needs, educational needs, transportation problems, staff turnover and morale and other perceived problem areas. The plan shall further provide recommendations directed to alleviate the problems.

(c) The plan shall include, but not be limited to, statements of policies and goals in the following areas:

(1) Licensing of secure detention centers;

(2) Criteria for placing juveniles in detention;

(3) Alternatives to secure detention;

(4) Allocation of fiscal resources to the costs of secure detention facilities;

(5) Information and referral services; and

(6) Educational regulations developed and approved by the West Virginia Board of Education.

(d) The President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Delegates shall designate a committee or task force thereof, to act in a continuing capacity as an oversight committee, which shall assist the director of the Division of Juvenile Services in the development, periodic review and update of the state plan for the predispositional detention centers for juveniles. To this end, the director shall make regular reports to the designated Legislative Oversight body during the interim period and immediately before any regular session of the Legislature, which reports shall include any recommendations for legislative enactment, together with drafts of any proposed legislation necessary to effectuate those recommendations.

Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2017 Regular Session
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