Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 16.1. Courts Not of Record
Chapter 11. Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Courts
12/15/2019

§ 16.1-309.2. Purpose and intent. (2019 updated section)

The General Assembly, to ensure the prevention of juvenile crime and the imposition of appropriate and just sanctions and to make the most efficient use of community diversion and community-based and correctional resources for those juveniles who have been screened for needing community diversion or community-based services using an evidence-based assessment protocol or are before intake on complaints or the court on petitions alleging that the juvenile is a child in need of services, child in need of supervision, or delinquent, has determined that it is in the best interest of the Commonwealth to establish a community-based system of progressive intensive sanctions and services that correspond to the severity of offense and treatment needs. The purpose of this system shall be to deter crime by providing community diversion or community-based services to juveniles who are in need of such services and by providing an immediate, effective punishment that emphasizes accountability of the juvenile offender for his actions as well as reduces the pattern of repeat offending. In furtherance of this purpose, counties, cities or combinations thereof are encouraged to develop, implement, operate, and evaluate programs and services responsive to their specific juvenile offender needs and juvenile crime trends.

This article shall be interpreted and construed to accomplish the following purposes:

1. Promote an adequate level of services to be available to every juvenile and domestic relations district court.

2. Ensure local autonomy and flexibility in addressing juvenile crime.

3. Encourage a public and private partnership in the design and delivery of services for juveniles who come before intake on a complaint or the court on a petition alleging a child is in need of services, in need of supervision, or delinquent or have been screened for needing community diversion or community-based services using an evidence-based assessment protocol.

4. Emphasize parental responsibility and provide community-based services for juveniles and their families which hold them accountable for their behavior.

5. Establish a locally driven statewide planning process for the allocation of state resources.

6. Promote the development of an adequate service capacity for juveniles before intake on a complaint or the court on petitions alleging status or delinquent offenses.

1995, cc. 698, 840; 1996, cc. 671, 682; 2019, c. 105.