Shenandoah Valley Juvenile Center began operation in January 1968 as a thirty-two bed facility located in Staunton, VA. In September 2003 the Juvenile Center moved into a brand new state of the art thirty-seven thousand square foot, fifty-eight bed complex operated by a regional commission of seven cities and counties. It is situated near the Augusta County offices in Verona, Va. less than three miles from Interstate 81.
Designed by Moseley Architects the facility fulfills contemporary requirements to be secure, safe, energy efficient and attractive. Masonry construction with a centrally controlled pneumatic lock system provide safety for residents and staff in a floor plan that accommodates a variety of programming to meet the needs of public safety and residents’ personal growth.
Secure Detention includes residents’ housing divided into attractive ten-room pod units that each include a large general living area for leisure time and meals with direct staff supervision. Each pod also includes an office for private counseling. There are fifty-eight secure beds.
School is located in its own area midway in the complex with eight classrooms and offices. A full size gym with hard wood floor is attached to the school. It is equipped with a wide variety of equipment to meet residents’ daily needs for large muscle exercise as well as recreation and general physical education. Walled recreation yards with paved ball courts are located on either side of the Secure Detention building. These areas are also refuge areas in the event of emergency evacuation.
All meals are prepared on site by food service staff certified by the National Restaurant Association Serve Safe program. Menus are designed to feed young people what they like to eat while observing sound nutritional practices. They follow a cycle menu approved by Virginia Department of Juvenile Justice and in accord with National School Meals Program for nutritional content. The kitchen is regularly inspected by the local health department as well as agents of DJJ and USDA.
Youth admitted to SVJC enter through a dedicated intake area with vehicle sally port, holding cells shower and clothing supply facilities. The nurse’s clinic provides a place for her to handle residents’ medical issues as well as for the visiting doctor to conduct physical exams. A dedicated telecommunications room supports video conferencing for court hearings. Administrative offices are primarily located in their own wing. There are also rooms for library, multipurpose activities and central laundry as well as building maintenance and general supplies storage.