(AP) Gov. Ralph Northam has appointed a new boss of the state’s juvenile justice department.
Northam announced March 26 that he was appointing Valerie Boykin, a current deputy director, as the department head. Boykin is from Suffolk and first joined the agency in 1980 as a probation officer.
Northam said Juvenile Justice Director Andrew Block was stepping down next month after five years leading the agency.
The department overseas juvenile probation offices and operates the state-operated Juvenile Correctional Center in Chesterfield County. The department has about 5,000 youth under some kind of supervision.
Block is a former law professor and children’s advocate who founded the JustChildren program at the Legal Aid Justice Center in Charlottesville.
During Block’s tenure, Virginia closed the Beaumont Juvenile Correctional Center in Powhatan County and used the annual savings to fund alternatives to incarceration in maximum-security facilities, the Richmond Times-Dispatch reported.