Two Great Conversations With Experts on Transforming Juvenile Probation

Posted July 12, 2018
By the Annie E. Casey Foundation
Nate Balis and Steve Bishop

From left: Nate Balis and Steve Bishop

A webi­nar from the Casey Foun­da­tion — now avail­able via record­ing — rec­om­mends how the juve­nile jus­tice field could trans­form pro­ba­tion into a focused inter­ven­tion that pro­motes per­son­al growth, pos­i­tive behav­ior change and long-term suc­cess for youth who pose sig­nif­i­cant risks for seri­ous offending.

Pro­ba­tion plays a piv­otal role in the juve­nile jus­tice sys­tem, with near­ly 400,000 young peo­ple receiv­ing it in some form each year. Pro­ba­tion should offer court-involved youth who would oth­er­wise be con­fined the chance to remain in the com­mu­ni­ty pro­duc­tive­ly. Evi­dence shows, how­ev­er, that juve­nile pro­ba­tion as it is struc­tured now doesn’t work.

The 60-minute webi­nar fea­tures an intro­duc­tion by Nate Balis, direc­tor of the Foundation’s Juve­nile Jus­tice Strat­e­gy Group, and a pre­sen­ta­tion by Steve Bish­op, a senior asso­ciate at the Foun­da­tion who once served as a pro­ba­tion offi­cer in Penn­syl­va­nia. They describe the evi­dence and ratio­nale behind the Foundation’s vision for mod­ern­iz­ing the fun­da­men­tal struc­ture of juve­nile probation.

The con­ver­sa­tion is based on Trans­form­ing Juve­nile Pro­ba­tion: A Vision for Get­ting It Right. The Casey Foun­da­tion report reimag­ines pro­ba­tion to get bet­ter out­comes for young peo­ple. This vision is based on more than 25 years of expe­ri­ence with JDAI™ and five years of study­ing pro­ba­tion with prac­ti­tion­ers, youth, fam­i­lies, researchers and pilot sites.

Giv­en research on ado­les­cent behav­ior and brain devel­op­ment and evi­dence about inter­ven­tion strate­gies that con­sis­tent­ly reduce delin­quen­cy, the knowl­edge exists now to get juve­nile pro­ba­tion right,” says Bish­op. Get­ting it right presents an enor­mous oppor­tu­ni­ty for improv­ing the entire juve­nile jus­tice system.”

A relat­ed town hall-style web­cast fea­tures Steve Bish­op answer­ing ques­tions from juve­nile jus­tice prac­ti­tion­ers across the coun­try about pro­ba­tion transformation.

Read more about trans­form­ing juve­nile probation:

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