Two Great Conversations With Experts on Transforming Juvenile Probation

Posted July 11, 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.

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