WHO WE ARE
The Virginia Community Criminal Justice Association is a non-profit membership organization. Membership includes, local community corrections and pretrial services directors, staff, and other individuals involved with the criminal justice system. Our membership includes nearly 450 individuals and organizations representing all sectors of public safety and treatment providers. Code of ethics
The purpose of the Virginia Community Criminal Justice Association (VCCJA) is to enhance public safety through the development and expansion of pretrial, community corrections and other criminal justice programs in the Commonwealth of Virginia, by providing a forum for the discussion and communication of ideas. All members of the Association shall be committed to the standards of excellence, integrity, and professionalism in the delivery of pretrial and community corrections services.
MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT
It has now been a year since I was elected President of your association. In that years’ time, I have been amazed by the amount of time and effort the members of the Executive Committee and the Committee Co-chairs put into the work of the Association. They are unpaid volunteers pushing our profession and the Association forward in a highly productive manner, with integrity and professionalism at the forefront.
I remain humbled and honored to serve as President of VCCJA, a truly professional organization which has the primary focus of making your work in the field the best it can be. We have embarked on many activities, working in concert with the Department of Criminal Justice Services, and other stakeholders; and on our own. But the focus has always been on the field, and what is best for the Local Probation and Pretrial Officers doing the work every day.
In the past year we have seen the Probation Advancement Committee move many initiatives forward; we have seen the establishment of a Pretrial Advancement Committee; we have seen implementation of the revised VPRAI and PRAXIS (working with DCJS); along with DCJS we assisted in putting on a successful summit on Pretrial Services; we have raised funds for the Association; we had a successful training conference in November; we have seen the EBP Sustainability Committee move initiatives forward; our membership has remained very strong; we actively participated in a Virginia State Crime Commission study of pretrial services; we monitored and responded to legislation impacting our profession; we continued to educate and meet with our stakeholders; we passed changes to the by-laws adding a President-elect position; and we saw a higher than usual number of participants run for elective office in the Association. We have continued to participate in meetings and committee work with DCJS, and this partnership and collaborative effort will continue to grow and be enhanced in the upcoming year. We have met with the Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security to once again ask for funding for expansion of pretrial services, and hopefully will see that funding introduced in the upcoming budget. We also met with key staff from Senate Finance, House Appropriations, and the Dept. of Planning and Budget and we presented our successes, challenges, and needs for funding; and they we quite supportive of our work. These are just some of the successes we have had as an Association. And we have had our challenges also, but let’s focus on the successes.
Many of you have implemented the standards of supervision since being revised to include monthly contacts with clients. While this flies in the face of sound, evidence based supervision practices; we must work with these standards now. However, we will continue to look to have the standards revised again so that differential supervision can once again become the norm, as it is with state probation and parole and state juvenile probation supervision. It just makes sense, it is research based, and it has proven to be successful in the supervision of offenders. I have been in the business over 40 years, and have always experienced the use of risk and need assessments to determine the appropriate level of supervision. Now that we are seeing the effectiveness of this type of supervision through sound research, it is time we once again catch up with our counterparts in Virginia, across the country, and internationally.
We will also work closely with DCJS in the upcoming year regarding upgrades to PTCC and implementing necessary changes to PTCC to address changes in the MOST/OST scoring and new definitions. We know, as does DCJS, that PTCC is an ongoing concern for the programs and they are committed to making the necessary changes, as well as looking at how to improve the system.
As always, I will ask for others to step up and join committees, run for office, be part of this great Association. We face the prospect of losing many experienced leaders in the next few years; leaders in both the Association and our programs. Now is the time for the next generation of leaders to step up, and leaders come from all of us—Directors, Assistant Directors, Supervisors, Probation and Pretrial Officers, and Administrative Support staff. All of us have the potential to lead and we need you all to step up.
I will also state again that the most important asset in our profession is our Officers and Administrative Support Staff, those of you on the front lines, supervising clients, and meeting and greeting clients to set the tone for our programs, those of you who face the real problems day in and day out. To all of you, thanks so much for all you do. You make all of us look good!
Let’s all work hard for another successful year for VCCJA and our profession.