History of JDC

The purpose of the Juvenile Detention Center is to provide a pre-dispositional holding facility for juveniles who are before the Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court. Some juveniles will be held while awaiting transportation to the State Department of Juvenile Justice or other Placements.

Planning for the Juvenile Detention Center began in the late 1960s. Provision for juvenile detention space was part of a 1971 bond referendum for a new criminal justice center which was to include a new jail, court space and other services. That referendum, however, was not approved by county voters. In 1980, the Board of Supervisors approved the construction of a County Juvenile Detention Center using the County General Fund and Department of Corrections funds. Ground was then broken in February 1981 for a 55-bed center.  The first juveniles entered the program on October 15, 1982.


The Juvenile Detention Center is a medium secure pre-dispositional holding facility on a single level surrounding an outdoor recreational/activity area. It was designed initially with five living units - with eleven bedrooms and a dayroom in each. Other specialized space includes an intake/receiving area, administrative offices, a kitchen and dining room, classrooms and a gymnasium.

Initially, only three of the living units were used for secure pre-dispositional holding for a capacity of 33 juveniles. The court continued to make use of up to 25 beds at the Northern Virginia Regional Detention Home. The remaining two living units were modified to temporarily house the court's Less Secure Shelter and can accommodate up to 15 juveniles in the space.

The Less Secure Shelter moved into a new facility in 1990, at which time the Juvenile Detention Center was converted into 55 beds. In 1998, the Juvenile Detention Center expanded into a 121-bed facility.

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