In a surprise move, Isle of Wight board kills juvenile justice center proposal

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WINDSOR, Va. (WAVY) — After originally supporting a proposal to bring a juvenile correctional facility to Isle of Wight County, Chairman of the Board of Supervisors William McCarty changed his vote on Thursday to kill the deal.

The 3-2 vote that denied the terms of a land transfer approved in February was met with an eruption of cheers from the more than 100 gathered at the Windsor Town Center.

For the last several months, many residents have vehemently opposed a plan that called for a 60-bed juvenile correctional facility to be built on 20 acres of farmland south of the Town of Windsor. Those who packed public meetings expressed concern about safety, property values and overall quality of life with the development of a “prison” in their community. 

“We had spoken as a unified voice,” said Richard Holland Jr., CEO of Farmers Bank and Windsor resident. “Mr. McCarty showed a lot of courage here tonight.” 

RELATED: Board chair says juvenile prison not happening if state requests more money

The Department of Juvenile Justice says $13.5 million facility will serve ages 14 to 21 years old, primarily sentenced from Hampton Roads. The center would employ roughly 240 people, including counselors, medical and education specialists. 

“DJJ is disapointed with the vote tonight. Despite this setback we do remain confident in the good work of our staff at the Bon Air Juvenile correctional center. And we have not and will not waiver in our promise to our youth, families and communities we serve,” said Greg Davy, a spokesperson for the Department of Juvenile Justice. 

He wouldn’t elaborate on what comes next. 

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