In 2016, Virginia Senator Barbara Favola introduced legislation, Virginia S.B. 215, which would have limited the use of solitary confinement for youth. The bill would have limited the use of solitary confinement for youth.
STUDY BY STATE YOUTH COMMISSION
While the legislation did not advance, the Virginia Commission on Youth (VCOY) did undertake a study on the use of isolation because S.B. 215 would have required the Board of Juvenile Justice (BJJ) to create regulations on the use of room segregation in juvenile facilities. The VCOY completed a study and released a Final Report on the use of segregation in youth facilities in December 2016. The Report made two recommendations:
- The BJJ, in consultation with experts in the fields of mental health and juvenile justice and child-rights advocates, should promulgate regulations on the use of room segregation in juvenile correctional facilities and detention homes.
- The VCOY should continue to monitor the Department of Juvenile Justice’s comprehensive review of the residential requirements for juvenile correctional centers and secure juvenile detention centers which began in the summer of 2016, and request presentation updates from the department as needed.