West Virginia communities and families will benefit if the only young people who are confined or detained in out-of-home facilities are those who constitute a threat to the public or themselves.
While there has been progress toward this goal in recent years, much remains to be done. Adjusting policies could have a major positive impact on juveniles, their families and communities—and the state’s taxpayers.
West Virginia’s juvenile justice system can be a confusing maze even to those who know it well. Data is often difficult or impossible to obtain.
This report provides an overview of West Virginia’s juvenile justice system, including historical background, recent reforms, and recommendations for improvements. It also suggests that looking at the system through a mental health lens could lead to more constructive solutions and positive outcomes for the state’s youth offenders.