A. The Director is authorized to establish work release programs, subject to such rules and regulations as the Board may prescribe, whereby (i) a juvenile who is proficient in any trade or occupation and who meets the work release criteria established by the Director, may be approved for employment by private individuals, corporations, or state agencies at places of business, or (ii) a juvenile who the Director is satisfied meets the work release criteria and is capable of receiving substantial benefit from educational and other related community activity programs that are not available within a juvenile correctional center may attend such programs outside of the juvenile correctional facility.
B. The Director may contract with the superintendent of a local detention facility or home for the temporary placement of a committed juvenile who is deemed appropriate for participation in the programs or services provided by or through a certified post-dispositional program in that local detention facility or home. A juvenile who the Director is satisfied meets the work release criteria and is capable of receiving substantial benefit from educational programs, employment or other related community activity programs available at or through the local detention facility or home is eligible for placement in such local detention facility or home.
C. The compensation for such employment shall be arranged by the Director and shall be the same as that of regular employees in similar occupations. Any wages earned shall be paid to the Director. The Director shall, in accordance with regulations promulgated by the Board, deduct from such wages, in the following order of priority, an amount to:
3. Pay travel and other such expenses made necessary by his work release employment or participation in an educational or rehabilitative program.The balance shall be credited to the juvenile’s account or sent to his family in an amount the juvenile chooses.
D. Any juvenile who has been placed in any of the programs authorized herein shall, while outside the juvenile correctional center or juvenile detention facility to which he is assigned, be deemed to be in custody whether or not he is under the supervision of a juvenile correctional officer. If the juvenile, without proper authority or without just cause, leaves the area in which he has been directed to work or to attend educational or community activity programs, or the vehicle or route involved in his traveling to or from such place or program, he may be found guilty of escape as provided for in § 18.2-477 as though he had left the secure facility as defined in § 16.1-228; or, if there are mitigating circumstances or the culpability of the juvenile is minimal, he may be found guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor.
E. The Director and any superintendent or other administrative head of any local detention facility are authorized to enter into agreements whereby persons committed to the Department, whether such persons are housed in a juvenile correctional center or a local detention facility, and who meet the Department’s standards for such release, may participate in local work release programs or in educational or other rehabilitative programs operating pursuant to this section. Any person so placed shall be governed by the rules and regulations applicable to local work release programs.
F. In the event that the juvenile is committed to the Department as a serious offender pursuant to § 16.1-285.1, the juvenile shall not be approved for placement in a work release program located outside of the juvenile correctional facility without written approval of the committing court.
2005, c. 648.