Apply Now: Transforming Juvenile Probation Certificate Program

Posted January 18, 2022, By the Annie E. Casey Foundation

Members of the first Transforming Juvenile Probation cohort

George­town University’s Cen­ter for Juve­nile Jus­tice Reform (CJJR) is now accept­ing appli­ca­tions for a week-long cer­tifi­cate pro­gram that aids state and local juris­dic­tions in adopt­ing a safer, youth-cen­tered approach to juve­nile probation.

About the Cer­tifi­cate Program

The Trans­form­ing Juve­nile Pro­ba­tion Cer­tifi­cate Pro­gram, offered with sup­port from the Annie E. Casey Foun­da­tion, will run from May 1620, 2022, in Wash­ing­ton, D.C. The final day for teams to apply is Feb. 252022.

The pro­gram, launched in 2019, offers a cur­ricu­lum root­ed in Casey’s Trans­form­ing Juve­nile Pro­ba­tion report and the CJJR and Coun­cil of State Gov­ern­ments Jus­tice Cen­ter pub­li­ca­tion, Trans­form­ing Juve­nile Jus­tice Sys­tems to Improve Pub­lic Safe­ty and Youth Out­comes.

This is an oppor­tu­ni­ty for juris­dic­tions to ful­ly shift the role of pro­ba­tion away from sur­veil­lance and com­pli­ance and toward pro­mot­ing per­son­al growth, pos­i­tive behav­ior change and long-term suc­cess for youth,” says Steve Bish­op, asso­ciate direc­tor of pro­ba­tion and sys­tem trans­for­ma­tion in the Foundation’s Juve­nile Jus­tice Strat­e­gy Group.

This year’s pro­gram can accom­mo­date up to five teams.

What to Expect

In May 2022, par­tic­i­pants will hear prac­ti­tion­ers, researchers and pol­i­cy­mak­ers present on an array of top­ics, such as:

  • incor­po­rat­ing prac­tices for fair­ness and equity;
  • youth, fam­i­ly and com­mu­ni­ty part­ner­ship and empowerment;
  • diver­sion as an off-ramp from the for­mal jus­tice system;
  • deci­sion mak­ing about the length and inten­si­ty of pro­ba­tion terms;
  • roles of pro­ba­tion offi­cers; and 
  • lead­ing trans­for­ma­tion­al change.

As part of the pro­gram, teams will devel­op and imple­ment a cap­stone project to trans­form their jurisdiction’s work. Dur­ing this time, they will receive tech­ni­cal assis­tance on a vari­ety of fronts, includ­ing when:

  • devel­op­ing and imple­ment­ing new poli­cies and practices;
  • train­ing staff and stake­hold­ers to pro­mote buy-in and col­lab­o­ra­tion; and
  • assess­ing, eval­u­at­ing and sus­tain­ing progress.

Once a team’s cap­stone project is approved, its mem­bers will earn an exec­u­tive cer­tifi­cate from George­town Uni­ver­si­ty and join CJJR’s net­work of over 1,500 fellows.

Who Should Apply

Each team may have up to 10 mem­bers and must include the following: 

  • chief pro­ba­tion officer; 
  • field super­vi­sor or deputy;
  • front­line staff member;
  • youth — or fam­i­ly mem­ber of a youth — with expe­ri­ence nav­i­gat­ing the juve­nile jus­tice system;
  • leader from a com­mu­ni­ty-based organization;
  • judge;
  • pros­e­cu­tor; and 
  • defense attor­ney.

The appli­ca­tion also rec­om­mends oth­er team mem­bers, includ­ing the law enforce­ment offi­cial who leads the juve­nile division.

The ide­al team also demon­strates most or all of the fol­low­ing characteristics:

  • a com­mit­ment to com­pre­hen­sive pro­ba­tion transformation;
  • a his­to­ry of effec­tive imple­men­ta­tion of juve­nile jus­tice reforms;
  • a desire to imple­ment inno­v­a­tive prac­tices and be a nation­al leader in trans­form­ing youth justice;
  • a his­to­ry of suc­cess­ful col­lab­o­ra­tion among agen­cies, pub­lic sys­tems and com­mu­ni­ty stake­hold­ers; and
  • the orga­ni­za­tion­al and data capac­i­ty to sup­port pro­ba­tion transformation.

Real-world Results

One par­tic­i­pant, Moira O’Neil with the Office of the Child Advo­cate in New Hamp­shire, not­ed her team’s cap­stone project cut their jurisdiction’s 20 pro­ba­tion rules down to five while bol­ster­ing the use of indi­vid­u­al­ized treat­ment plans for youth. As a result of our efforts, New Hamp­shire is in a bet­ter place,” O’Neil said.

Anoth­er par­tic­i­pant, Tim­o­thy Wires, the chief of pro­ba­tion in Stark Coun­ty, Ohio dis­cussed his growth in rec­og­niz­ing how race and a his­to­ry of dis­crim­i­na­to­ry poli­cies and prac­tices have played out in the jus­tice sys­tem. He cred­its the pro­gram with enhanc­ing his agency’s abil­i­ty to dis­sect, rewrite and imple­ment pro­ba­tion prac­tices through the lens of equity.” 

Next Steps

  • Down­load the appli­ca­tion pack­et to learn more about the cur­ricu­lum, appli­ca­tion process, selec­tion cri­te­ria and cost of participating.
  • Sub­mit your appli­ca­tion by Fri­day, Feb. 252022.

Per cur­rent George­town Uni­ver­si­ty pol­i­cy, all par­tic­i­pants must sub­mit proof of full vac­ci­na­tion for COVID-19. Masks are required on site. Par­tic­i­pants will receive updates regard­ing George­town University’s pan­dem­ic safe­ty policies.

Relat­ed Resources

Read an announce­ment on the program’s first class of participants

Watch a three-minute video on Casey’s vision for pro­ba­tion transformation

Learn about Casey’s vision for pro­ba­tion transformation

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