Blue Ridge Court Services is a public non-profit organization founded in 1995 and established under the Comprehensive Community Corrections Act. Our mission is to provide effective sentencing alternatives to the judiciary and the local criminal justice system in an effort to reduce jail overcrowding, enhance public safety and offer remedial and rehabilitative opportunities to local offender populations in the Cities of Staunton, Waynesboro, Lexington, Buena Vista and the Counties of Augusta, Highland and Rockbridge.
Our main office is located in the White Star Mill Building at 125 South New Street in Staunton, Virginia and we have sub-offices in the court buildings in Waynesboro and Lexington.
Blue Ridge Court Services offers eight specific programs:
The Local Probation Program provides the District and Circuit Courts with a variety of alternative sentencing options. In lieu of serving and active jail sentence, certain non-violent offenders are allowed to return to the community where they may be required to be employed, perform community service, pay courts costs and restitution to the victim of their crime or undergo assessment and evaluation for treatment.
The Pretrial Program assists the local court system in identifying those individuals detained prior to going to trial who may be more appropriately supervised in the community pending their appearance in court.The Staunton, Augusta, Waynesboro Drug Treatment Court
uses the approach that moves quickly to bring drug-addicted offenders into treatment and utilizes a team effort to monitor their progress. Daily treatment, drug testing and weekly appearances before the drug court judge produces a higher probability that participants will be successful in breaking the cycle of repeated drug use and drug related crime.
The Restorative Justice Program provides the local courts a sentencing alternative which emphasizes the restoration of the victims of crime and the community. Restorative justice participants appear before a community restorative board that encourages victims to be an active part of the offender's rehabilitation.
The Domestic Violence Program focuses on offenders who have been referred from local juvenile and domestic relations courts with assault and battery charges on family members. These clients are assessed and placed into an appropriate treatment group.
The Home Electronic Monitoring Program provides local district and circuit courts with a house arrest alternative to incarceration. Offenders referred to this program are monitored under house arrest using GPS, voice recognition and breathe recognition technology. Offenders participating in the HEM program may, with the court's permission, work on a regulated schedule and return home each evening to remain under house arrest.
The Staunton-Augusta Therapeutic Docket Program is a specialized court docket which employs a problem-solving approach to court processing in lieu of more traditional court procedures for certain defendants who have been identified with mental health issues. This twelve month program combines prompt entry into mental health treatment, case management by a mental health clinician, supervision by a specialized pretrial officer and bi-weekly judicial reviews.
The Offender Re-entry Services Program is designed to assist individuals who have recently been released from jail and/or court who are in need of services in our community. Our re-entry staff is available to provide weekly group and individual sessions to assist in the following areas;
- Employment Readiness Skills and job referrals
- Assistance in securing housing, food, clothing and transportation
- Assistance in securing legal documents such as a photo ID, birth certificate or social security card.
- Assistance in accessing community resources such as mental health treatment, substance abuse treatment, vocational training and educational opportunities.