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How are problems in juvenile justice facilities addressed?

Having a child who gets in trouble with the law is a fear of most parents. If your child is in the Virginia juvenile justice system, you might worry about how your child is being treated. Fortunately, there are ways that you can remain involved in your child's process. If you ever have any concerns, there are ways that you can have those addressed.

What should I do if I have a problem that needs attention?

The first thing you should do is to contact the facility where your child is housed to determine if the officials there can work out a solution to the problem. If the problem is one that your child is experiencing because of a misapplication or misinterpretation of the procedures and policies set for the facility, he or she can complete a grievance form.

What if the facility can't or won't help with the problem?

If there is a problem that isn't addressed by the facility, you can contact the Ombudsman Program. The Ombudsman Program can accept a variety of complaints, including those that are made anonymously. It is important to note that this program isn't appropriate for emergency situations, but it does enable you to speak to someone outside of the facility about problems that need to be addressed within it.

If your child is just embarking on the juvenile justice system journey, it is vital to get started on the defense early. Working to discover the options that are available for your child might help you make an informed decision about how the defense should proceed.

Source: Virginia Department of Juvenile Justice, "Ombudsman Program," accessed July 27, 2015

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