Juvenile Center on Probation 

City has until April to fix problems, or state could force shutdown.

For administrators at the Richmond Juvenile Detention Center, there’s good news and bad news.

The bad news: Yesterday, at a meeting of the Virginia State Board of Juvenile Justice, the 60-bed facility was placed on probation for the second time since 2009. The board voted unanimously to do so after receiving a briefing on the various maintenance and safety problems at the center.

Recent inspections by the Richmond City Auditor and state officials have turned up multiple issues, including unreliable door locks, deficient staff training and sloppy record-keeping.

The good news: Officials believe that most of the deficiencies can be fixed by the board’s next meeting in April. If they are not, however, the board could move to have the facility’s certification revoked and its operations shut down.

“We’re committed to having a first-class operation,” said Carolyn Graham, the city’s deputy chief administrative officer for human services, following the meeting. She says city officials, and Mayor Dwight Jones, are committed to “giving us what we need to bring the facility up to snuff.”

Last month, city officials re-worked the city budget to provide $344,000 in emergency funds to repair the center’s electronic door-locking system and to beef up video security.

In a statement released shortly after the meeting, Jones promised to get to the bottom of how the problems arose and “why it took so long to fix them” once the facility has regained its normal status.

King Salim Khalfani, state director of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, applauded the board’s decision, saying, “I’m glad to see them take action on this.” In recent weeks, Khalfani has accused city officials of dragging their feet in addressing problems at the center.

Allegations that signatures on certain training documents held by the center were forged remains unresolved. Richmond Commonwealth’s Attorney Michael Herring began investigating the forgery claims last month.


Latest in News and Features


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Connect with Style Weekly

Newsletter Sign-Up

The Flash
The Bite
The Scoop

Most Popular Stories

  • Love at Work

    Love at Work

    How a church, two professors and HIV and AIDS survivors came together to form the Valentine’s upcoming exhibit.
    • Jan 20, 2020
  • Recap: Lobby Day and MLK Day of Service

    Recap: Lobby Day and MLK Day of Service

    As 22,000 people rallied in support of the Second Amendment, the Mayor and other city officials celebrated the famous civil rights activist.
    • Jan 20, 2020
  • Premiere Rivalry

    Premiere Rivalry

    Both having solid years, the UR Spiders and the VCU Rams are about to face off again.
    • Jan 20, 2020
  • What’s Happening at the Byrd?

    What’s Happening at the Byrd?

    In recent months, four board members have left and the general manager was fired without reason, he says.
    • Dec 31, 2019
  • More »

Copyright © 2020 Style Weekly
Richmond's alternative for news, arts, culture and opinion
All rights reserved
Powered by Foundation