In November 2019, teams from seven sites gathered in Washington, D.C. to learn about transforming juvenile probation culture and practice as part of the Transforming Juvenile Probation Certificate Program.
The new program, supported by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, was developed in partnership with Georgetown University’s Center for Juvenile Justice Reform and the Council of State Governments Justice Center. It offers intensive instruction, discussion and planning support to selected jurisdictions that are ready to question the purpose and goals of probation.
The seven sites selected for the program represent juvenile justice jurisdictions in:
- Cado Parish, Louisiana
- Charlottesville, Virginia
- Marion County, Indiana
- Multnomah County, Oregon
- The State of New Hampshire
- San Diego County, California
- Stark County, Ohio
“This program is an opportunity for jurisdictions to fully shift the role of probation officers away from surveillance and sanctions and toward a focus on promoting personal growth, positive behavior change and long-term success for youth,” says Steve Bishop, a senior associate with the Casey Foundation’s Juvenile Justice Strategy Group.
At the November 2019 session, teams listened as practitioners, researchers and policymakers spoke on:
- incorporating practices for equity;
- youth, family and community engagement;
- diversion and disposition decisions;
- the role of the probation officer; and
- leading transformational change.
Watch a three-minute video on Casey’s vision for probation transformation
Each team, capped at eight members, was required to have a chief probation officer, judge and prosecutor on its roster. During the application process, sites were also asked to demonstrate:
- a commitment to comprehensive probation transformation;
- a history of effective implementation of juvenile justice reforms;
- a history of successful collaboration among agencies, public systems and stakeholders; and
- the organizational and data capacity to support probation transformation.
Over the course of the program, each team will receive technical assistance — virtually and locally — as they develop a capstone project that identifies a clear action for transforming juvenile probation in their jurisdiction. Once the project is approved, participants will earn an executive certificate from Georgetown University and join CJJR's network of more than 1,200 Fellows.
The Transforming Juvenile Probation Certificate Program's curriculum is based on the principles and practices outlined in Casey’s Transforming Juvenile Probation: A Vision for Getting it Right and a second publication, Transforming Juvenile Justice Systems to Improve Public Safety and Youth Outcomes, produced by the Center for Juvenile Justice Reform and the Justice Center.