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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.
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
As I begin my time as President of the Virginia Community Criminal Justice Association, I want to express my thanks and admiration to my predecessor. I follow a line of tremendous leaders who have served as VCCJA President. I want to thank Drew Molloy for his incredible service during his time as President. He has dedicated his life to public service and is one of those rare individuals who has impacted our field on the local, state and national level. During the past two years, Drew spent countless hours leading our association through a number of challenges. It’s hard to follow in his footsteps. Thankfully, Drew intends to remain actively involved in our association as Past-President and co-chair of the Pretrial Justice Advancement Committee. Drew is a shining example of the impact you can make regardless of your title. He also paid his dues. Thank you Drew!
The Executive Committee completed our annual planning session on January 7 through January 9. I want to thank our returning members as well as thank our new members; Denise Waff and Darrin Russell. Many thanks to Jennifer MacArthur and Tomaudrie Thomas who remain on the Executive Committee in new roles. I deeply appreciate the time commitment it requires to serve on the Executive Committee and I want to thank everyone on the Executive Committee for their commitment. I also want to thank Cynthia Plummer and Amanda Wimberley who are leaving the Executive Committee after many years of service in many capacities. Cynthia and Amanda have been strong leaders who have advanced our field. It has been a pleasure to learn from them.
I also want to thank our returning and new committee chairs and the members of our committees. The committees perform the work of our association and are vital to our continued success. The work of our committees includes but is not limited to; a first class annual conference, training, legislative impact and advancing our field. Once again, thank you.
Moving forward, The Executive Committee has a few areas of emphasis. The first is membership engagement. I am honored to serve as President. I’m disappointed I ran unopposed. We have elections coming this fall. One of the positions is President Elect. The President Elect will have the opportunity to serve on the Executive Committee for a year and learn the position. The opportunity is invaluable. We have other positions elected this year as well. I encourage the membership to start thinking about these positions now. I also encourage our membership to consider joining a committee. Committee work is a wonderful opportunity to meet other professionals in the field, learn new skills and committee work often aides in professional development. We are starting to experience a demographic shift in our membership and we need a new generation of leaders to step forward.
The next area is telling our story. Using 2014 data, the average daily caseload for probation is approximately 20,000 statewide. Using 2018 pretrial data, the average daily caseload for pretrial is slightly over 9,000. Last year, almost 39,000 pretrial investigations were completed. Our membership touches an incredible number of lives on a daily basis, promotes positive change in our communities and provides public safety. Yet, I don’t believe enough of the important decision makers know enough about our story. That needs to change. The number of individuals we serve has increased dramatically over the past 25 years, but resources have not followed. As caseloads increase, the vicarious trauma experienced by our membership and the impact on selfcare needs to be considered. I have a bias towards data, but we need to tell our story through a number of platforms. The Executive Committee has ideas on how we can more effectively tell our story. We are working on the execution of those ideas now. We also need and welcome ideas from membership.
As we move forward, let’s make sure our localities, stakeholders, citizens, customers and state representatives understand the work we perform and the value of the work our membership performs.
Let’s tell our story.
Thank you for your work.