Comprehensive review of West Virginia's juvenile justice system - WTRF 7 News Sports Weather - Wheeling Steubenville

Comprehensive review of West Virginia's juvenile justice system kicks off

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A comprehensive review of West Virginia's juvenile justice system kicked off Aug. 15, with Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin joining members of the West Virginia Intergovernmental Task Force on Juvenile Justice and representatives from Pew Charitable Trusts.

"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 the 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 task force 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 legislators to serve on the task force, including 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.