Proposed Juvenile Justice Facility

Please click the “Learn More” link below for more information and answers to frequently asked questions regarding the proposed Virginia Department of Juvenile Justice Facility.

What is the Department of Juvenile Justice and what do they do?

The Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) is a State agency that operates and is responsible for the vast majority of local Court Service Units (often known as juvenile probation offices) across the Commonwealth, as well as the state-operated Juvenile Correctional Center, Bon Air. On any given day, DJJ has somewhere between 4,500 and 5,000 youth under some kind of supervision, with more than 90 percent of those youth being supervised in their communities through diversion, probation or parole.

  • DJJ’s mission – to protect the public by helping court involved youth become productive citizens – is best accomplished through individually tailoring the right mix of accountability and rehabilitation to meet the identified risk and need levels for every youth who walks through our doors, and making sure that they use data, research, and evidence-based practices to inform the interventions and services they provide. DJJ can best accomplish its mission when it provides youth in the DJJ system with those things that any adolescent needs to grow into a healthy, productive adult.
  • DJJ emphasizes four cornerstones of positive youth development which include a feeling of safety in one’s surroundings, a strong sense of connection to one’s community and supportive family members and/or other adults, a belief in the purpose of activities such as education, treatment and vocational training or actual work, and a sense of fairness in the accountability, consequences and opportunities one receives in response to their actions.
  • Over the last several years, the DJJ has undertaken a rigorous self-analysis to make sure it is using taxpayer resources effectively, and getting the desired outcomes for the youth, families and communities it serves. This analysis led DJJ to develop an ambitious plan to transform its work to get better outcomes for the children, families and communities the Department serves. The transformation efforts break down into three core initiatives: (1) Safely Reduce the use of the large and aging juvenile correctional facilities; (2) Reform correctional and treatment practices within the facilities and with youth returning to communities; and (3) Develop a plan to ultimately Replace DJJ’s two facilities with smaller, regional, and treatment oriented juvenile correctional centers and a statewide continuum of local alternative placements and evidence-based services.

How did Isle of Wight County become involved with this project?

  • November 27, 2017, a local DJJ employee contacted County staff and recommended that the County favorably consider hosting the DJJ facility that had been previously considered by the City of Chesapeake. 
  • December 1, 2017, staff inquired as to DJJ’s site requirements for the project.
  • December 14, 2017, the Isle of Wight Board of Supervisors was briefed on the potential project and directed staff to set up a meeting with the Town of Windsor. County Supervisors and staff met with the Town of Windsor leadership on December 29th to inform them about the project and all agreed to continue discussions with the State officials.
  • The General Assembly approved funding for the facility effective June 7, 2018, stipulating that it be constructed in Isle of Wight County.

Where is the proposed DJJ facility going to be located?

  • The proposed facility would be located south of the Town of Windsor on a 20-acre parcel of land currently owned by the County.  The property is located along Route 258 approximately 2 miles south of Route 460.

Did the County look at other options?

  • The County has a limited inventory of properties that would meet DJJ’s requirements – at least 20 acres of property with or near utilities.
  • The County looked at several properties in the Intermodal Park and narrowed its search to Phase III.
  • The presence of wetlands, adequate roadways, and the cost of extending utilities further limited the options within Phase III to the property selected for consideration by the Board of Supervisors.

Are there wetlands issues with the property?

  • Wetlands and uplands areas on the property were confirmed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in December 2018, assuring the site’s development for the 20-acre DJJ facility and for a potential business location on the adjacent acreage.

What are the benefits to the County?

  • Jobs – The planned 60-bed facility will require 240 employees (including counselors, medical and education specialists, in addition to other professionals) over three shifts to operate, with average wages of $60,000.
  • Required water and sewer infrastructure, costing over $1.5 million, will be provided to the site.  The water and sewer lines will be sized to accommodate other users; thereby, increasing the value and marketability of the property in and near Phase III of the Intermodal Park.
  • The County, the Town of Windsor, and HRSD will benefit from the sale of water and sewer services.
  • Visitors and on-site employees will significantly impact the local economy positively by purchasing goods and services, similar to what was experienced when Keurig Green Mountain opened in 2012.

What is the cost to the County?

  • The County is offering a 20-acre parcel of land (approx. $200,000 value) and a contribution of $500,000 to assist with extending water and sewer infrastructure to the property.

What is the return on investment (ROI) for the County?

  • Cost of Land – ($200,000)   County paid $10,000/acre for land
  • County share of utilities – ($500,000)   County is paying to upsize lines
  • Cost of utility lines – $1,500,000   State will transfer utility lines to County
  • ROI for the County – $800,000

Is it safe?

  • The planned facility will be designed and employ technology to ensure it is safe and offers appropriate protections to residents, employees, and the neighboring community.

What will it look like?

  • The Department of Juvenile Justice is starting the design of the facility with the latest rehabilitation programming in mind, like models in other states that already utilize advanced, modern facility layouts.

Where will individuals go when they are released from the facility?

  • Residents of the DJJ facility are released back to the communities they come from when they are sentenced.

What impact will the facility have on my property value?

  • Based on information gathered regarding correctional facilities in Western Tidewater and Bon Air (Chesterfield County), there does not appear to be any negative impact on property values.  There also appears to be no impact on property owners’ ability to sell residential and commercial properties near those facilities.

Will there be armed guards or firearms on the facility?

  • No. Section 6VAC35-71-510 of the Virginia Administrative Code prohibits firearms or other weapons at DJJ facilities.

How has the County demonstrated transparency in the process?

  • February 23, 2018 – County Administrator’s Update included information about the proposed DJJ facility, the anticipated number of jobs, the offer of 20 acres in Phase III of the Intermodal Park and reference to the State’s budget process.
  • June 27, 2018 – A Special EDA meeting was held to discuss the proposed facility and the possible need to move the location due to the presence of wetlands in the originally proposed site.
  • July 10, 2018 – Regular EDA meeting where the proposed facility and location were discussed with County Administration staff.
  • July 11, 2018 – County staff briefed Windsor Town Council at an Intergovernmental Meeting on the status of the project and on an upcoming informational meeting to be held on July 20, 2018.
  • July 20, 2018 – Informational meeting held with DJJ, County, Town & EDA leadership, which was open to the public and took place at the Windsor Ruritan Club building.
  • July 27, 2018 – County Administrator’s Update included updated information about the proposed DJJ facility, the anticipated number of jobs, the offer of 20 acres in Phase III of the Intermodal Park and advised that the State’s budget authorized the facility to be built in Isle of Wight County.
  • August 14, 2018 – Staff updated the EDA on discussion items from the July 20, 2018 informational meeting with State and local officials.
  • August 24, 2018 – County Administrator’s Update included an update of the project, a description of the environmental concerns, and a commitment to keep the public informed via keep you informed of what is occurring behind the scenes on our website, through the media and in other forums.
  • September 6, 2018 – Following a presentation by Economic Development staff, along with environmental consultant Kimley-Horn, the Board of Supervisors authorized continuation of a contract with Kimley-Horn to delineate and apply for confirmation from the Corps of Engineers (a.k.a., Preliminary Jurisdictional Determination) to determine a final location for the DJJ facility.
  • September 11, 2018 – Provided an update based on the information presented at the Board of Supervisors’ work session on September 6th.
  • October 30, 2018 – County Administrator’s Update included an update and the next steps relative to the environmental (wetlands) issues in Phase III of the Intermodal Park.
  • November 13, 2018 – Updated the EDA on the progress of Kimley-Horn and the upcoming meeting with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on November 28th.  The potential for moving the drainage ditch within the proposed site was discussed.
  • November 15, 2018 – Board of Supervisors received an update on the status of wetlands delineation on the parcel identified as the best location for the DJJ facility; also, that a pre-Jurisdictional Determination meeting with the Corps of Engineers (the Corps) had been scheduled for November 28th to review the delineation mapping and gain an understanding of confirmation timeline.
  • December 3, 2018 – (November) County Administrator’s Update included an update on the next steps relative to the environmental (wetlands) issues in Phase III of the Intermodal Park and a note that informational meetings would be forthcoming.
  • January 7, 2019 – Isle Cares newsletter outlines details re: date, time, and location for the public information sessions.
  • January 7, 2019 – At its regular meeting, the EDA received and update from staff on proposed project and confirmation of the wetlands delineation.  The EDA discussed the proposed project and voted not to transfer the property to the Commonwealth of Virginia or to the Board of Supervisors at that time.
  • January 10, 2019 – Two Informational Meetings were held at the Windsor Town Center to present information (maps and presentations), hear citizen concerns, and answer questions.
  • January 23, 2019 – EDA discussed the proposed project at a Called meeting and voted to transfer property to the Board of Supervisors.
  • February 8, 2019 – Staff presented information to the Board of Supervisors discussed and addressed questions regarding the proposed project, citizens’ concerns, and next steps.

Image of Letter from Windsor Mayor  endorsing the project
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