Home News Center WV Member's Campaign Halts Plans for New For-Profit Youth Facility

WV Member's Campaign Halts Plans for New For-Profit Youth Facility

January 13, 2016
Zoe Schein

In 2015, West Virginia’s Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR) fast-tracked a plan to build a 70-bed, for-profit youth detention facility to house youth with mental health needs. However, thanks to an impressive campaign run by the ACLU of West Virginia, an NJJN member, those plans have been halted.

The state announced its intention to build the facility, the “Dazzy Vance Mountain Retreat,” just three weeks after a U.S. Department of Justice investigation found the state to be in violation of federal law for its practice of institutionalizing youth with mental health needs rather than offering community-based support services.  

The ACLU of West Virginia quickly rallied around this cause, creating an online petition and making opposition to the facility a centerpiece of the broader “Our Children, Our Future” campaign, which advocates for the deincarceration of youth. Thanks in large part to their efforts, DHHR announced in November that plans for the facility’s construction have halted.

Click here to read an op-ed on the issue by ACLU-WV’s Jennifer Meinig.

Download NJJN’s policy platform against confining youth for profit and a related document detailing how to safeguard those youth who are in for-profit facilities.”

Photo: Flickr user Kyle May.

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