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Piedmont Court Services - History

 

HISTORY OF PIEDMONT COURT SERVICES

In October 1983, Piedmont Court Services was established under a Joint Exercise of Powers resolution. By resolution of all participating counties, the Piedmont Court Services office in Farmville, Virginia was established to serve the nine (9) counties of Amelia, Appomattox, Buckingham, Charlotte, Cumberland, Lunenburg, Nottoway, Powhatan and Prince Edward. Piedmont Court Services administered the Community Diversion Incentive (CDI) Act.

The CDI Act authorized the Department of Corrections to provide direct funding to counties and cities to develop, establish and maintain programs for the purpose of providing the judicial system with sentencing alternatives for certain non-violent offenders. These offenders may have required less than incarceration but more than offenders whose primary need was treatment. Inherent in the success of the program was the screening and acceptance of appropriate non-violent adult offenders and the swift return of uncooperative offenders to the court.

On July 1, 1992, Piedmont Court Services added a second Community Corrections Resources Board (CCRB), which was served by the Halifax and Boydton CDI offices responsible for Halifax, Pittsylvania and Mecklenburg counties. Until July 1, 1995, Piedmont Court Services was comprised of three boards: the Executive Board and the Community Corrections Resources Boards (CCRB) I and II.

The Executive Board established policy and administered the CDI program. Its membership consisted of the General District Court judges or representatives appointed by the judges. Another key component of CDI was the voluntary citizens-based Community Corrections Resources Board (CCRB). Its membership was composed of representatives of each county Board of Supervisors, and one representative of the Department of Corrections. Additionally, each Circuit Court judge appointed a representative. The CCRB received felon referrals from the appropriate judge, obtained diagnostic evaluations, as necessary, and provided recommendations to the judge regarding the non-violent offender's ability to benefit from an alternative to incarceration. The offender's individualized treatment plan and stated CDI obligations accompanied the CCRB's recommendations. The sentencing judge determined the success or failure to complete the program based on CDI staff recommendations.

The Piedmont Court Services office located in Farmville and it's CCRB were responsible for the nine (9) counties of Amelia, Appomattox, Buckingham, Charlotte, Cumberland, Lunenburg, Nottoway, Powhatan and Prince Edward.

As a result of 1995 state legislation, entitled the "Comprehensive Community Corrections Act (CCCA) for Locally Responsible Offenders," the CCRBs statewide were abolished effective July 1, 1995. Since July 1, 1995, the funding for the CCCA agencies has been provided by the Department of Criminal Justice Services by means of grants. A requirement of the CCCA legislation was that a Community Criminal Justice Board (CCJB), an advisory board, be organized for every catchment area that has a CCCA agency. The CCJB for Piedmont Court Services is the Piedmont Community Criminal Justice Board and consists of 25 individuals, some of whom hold the legislatively-mandated positions, i.e., judges, a sheriff, commonwealth's attorney, defense attorney, and jail administrator. Individuals are appointed by the Boards of Supervisors in this multi-jurisdiction which is currently composed of the nine (9) counties of Amelia, Appomattox, Buckingham, Charlotte, Cumberland, Lunenburg, Nottoway, Powhatan, and Prince Edward.