To commemorate the closure of Beaumont Juvenile Correctional Facility, RISE for Youth, a nonpartisan campaign advocating for community alternatives to youth incarceration, today released the following statement:
“The Commonwealth of Virginia has been locking up youth at Beaumont since 1890, despite data demonstrating better methods for punishment and transformation of youth who commit crime. We welcome this long overdue closure and applaud the Department of Juvenile Justice for moving toward replacing old, outdated, and obsolete youth prisons with community-based accountability methods. This is a major step forward for youth, families, and communities in Virginia. This facility – like all large youth prisons – was never appropriate for children, and did not lead to positive public safety outcomes. We urge Virginia leaders to continue transforming how we do juvenile justice in the Commonwealth into a system that favors investment in local communities and families over confinement in far-away prisons, and continue to advocate that savings from this closure be reinvested into a continuum of care for system-involved youth.
While great progress has been made with this closure, the coming months hold important decisions on the reuse, demolishment, or transfer of the facility and land and we encourage action by the Commonwealth to prevent future use of Beaumont for confinement of youth. RISE for Youth will continue working to ensure that youth receive the treatment and supervision that they need close to their homes and support networks instead of outdated systems that fail to keep the public safe. Our youth, families, and communities deserve better.”
RISE for Youth is a statewide, nonpartisan campaign coalition whose central goal is to develop a continuum of community-based alternatives to incarceration that will keep juvenile justice system involved youth closer to their homes and support networks while making our communities safer. For more information on RISE for Youth, visit: www.riseforyouth.org and follow @RISEforYouth.