The center is certified by the Virginia Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ). It is funded by the Commonwealth of Virginia through the DJJ and the cities of Alexandria and Falls Church and Arlington County.
The facility programs provided include care and custody, educational, medical, recreational, post-dispositional confinement, emergency psychiatric intervention, life skills, visitation and various volunteer programs. The behavior management program is based on positive reinforcement through a level system that allows for the earning of additional privileges as youth demonstrate positive behaviors.
Alexandria City Public Schools provides teachers certified by the Virginia Department of Education. Core areas of math, English, social studies, science, and art are taught. Instructors include special education teachers, a literacy coach and an English language learners teacher.
Youth in pre-dispositional detention receive full services and can begin the process of rehabilitation and laying the foundation for later treatment. Custody may be deemed necessary by the courts for youth to be placed in an environment that is safe and secure, while meeting their needs and offering a constructive program of activities, groups to encourage the development of individual and group social skills, and encouraging continued work with outside mental health and educational agencies.
Youth may also be detained in Northern Virginia Juvenile Detention Commission post-adjudication. This can include short lengths, including weekends, and these youth will receive the same services and programs as pre-dispositional youth. Youth committed DJJ may also remain at NVJDC until their transfer.
New Beginnings Program
Youth placed in the New Beginnings Program have often been unsuccessful in other programs, but the courts want to give them a final opportunity to make changes and avoid being placed in a state detention facility. This program is a co-educational program and the program youth are housed in a separate unit to allow for the additional programming.
All youth will develop clear goals that must be attained to successfully complete the program. They are assigned a mental health therapist from the community services boards and receive individual and group therapy services throughout the program. All treatment services are evidence-based and the treatment team meets every 30 days to review a youth's progress. Court reviews are also held every 30 days to ensure the judges are kept informed of a youth's progress and/or difficulties.
Behavior Management Levels
The behavior management levels are designed to encourage youth to improve their behavior and decision-making, earning privileges such as going on educational outings or home passes. The highest level also allows for youth options to transition back to the home school and/or begin employment. Each level with the program involves the completion of task and is overseen by the Program Coordinator. Changes in level are determined in biweekly program staffing.