Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin today joined members of the West Virginia Intergovernmental Task Force on Juvenile Justice and representatives from Pew Charitable Trusts to launch a comprehensive review of West Virginia’s juvenile justice system.
“We’ve brought together an outstanding group of West Virginians who are willing to spend their time and use their expertise to help create brighter futures for our young people,” Gov. Tomblin said. “Through our landmark justice reinvestment efforts, we’ve learned data-driven and research-based programs and practices work. Today, with the help of Pew Charitable Trusts, we’ve launched a comprehensive review of our state’s juvenile justice system. This review will give us the tools and data we need to develop and implement programs to make a difference in the lives of our youth, their families and our communities.”
The task force will work with Pew representatives to develop consensus-based policies through a cooperative effort of members from all branches of government as well as community leaders, representatives from local education systems and parent advocates.
As part of today’s task force meeting, representatives from Pew provided an objective review of West Virginia court data and facilitated initial discussions on the current juvenile justice system process to identify key decision points within the court system. In the coming weeks, members will review additional data from agencies that work closely with the juvenile justice system as well as research and best practices currently being used across the country.
The task force will provide a consensus-based report to West Virginia’s three branches of government in December, outlining specific recommendations to guide West Virginia’s juvenile justice system forward.
The taskforce is comprised of 26 appointed members.
In addition to those members appointed by Gov. Tomblin, Senate President Jeff Kessler and House Speaker Tim Miley have appointed the following members of the Legislature to serve on the task force: Senate Majority Whip Bill Laird, Senate Majority Leader John Unger, Senator Don Cookman, Senator Clark Barnes, Senator Chris Walters, Delegate Tim Manchin, Delegate Carol Miller, Delegate Bill Hamilton, Delegate Isaac Sponaugle and Delegate Stephen Skinner.