May 20, 2019

The Center for Juvenile Justice Reform (CJJR) and The Council of State Governments (CSG) Justice Center, in partnership with the Annie E. Casey Foundation (AECF), are seeking applications from up to seven state and local jurisdictions to participate in the new Transforming Juvenile Probation Certificate Program. The program will support multidisciplinary teams from state and local jurisdictions—including probation leadership, judges, attorneys, and other key stakeholders—to fundamentally rethink their system-wide approach to probation to increase public safety and improve youth outcomes.

The weeklong certificate program will take place on November 4-8, 2019 in Washington, DC. It will  provide intensive instruction, discussion, and planning for selected teams under the guidance of nationally recognized researchers, policymakers, and practitioners as well as staff from the CJJR, CSG Justice Center, and AECF. The program curricula draw on principles and practices outlined in the AECF publication Transforming Juvenile Probation: A Vision for Getting it Right and the CJJR and CSG Justice Center publication, Transforming Juvenile Justice Systems to Improve Public Safety and Youth Outcomes.

Specific training modules of the certificate program will include:

Module 1: A New Vision of Probation: Foundations for Success. Using facilitated conversation, this module will identify the key foundational principles that must underpin any successful effort to fundamentally transform juvenile probation.

Module 2: Applying a Fairness and Equity Lens to Probation Practice. This session provides strategies on ensuring juvenile probation practices are cognizant of implicit bias as well as structural and institutional racism. It will also focus on gender and culturally responsive approaches and how to use data to identify and reduce disparities in the probation system.

Module 3: Youth, Family, and Community Engagement and Empowerment. In this module, participants will learn how to meaningfully engage youth, families, and community partners in core probation practices and court processes.

Module 4: Diversion: Right Sizing the System. Participants will learn about identifying opportunities to divert youth from formal juvenile justice system involvement, when appropriate, to achieve better youth outcomes and reduce probation caseloads.  

Module 5: The Probation, Attorney, Court Partnership: Disposition Decisions. This session will focus on strengthening collaboration among probation officers, attorneys, and judges to determine the right disposition for individual youth.

Module 6: The Role and Practices of Probation Officers. Attendees will learn to position probation officers as agents of positive youth behavior change through rethinking organizational culture, staff hiring and promotional practices, and day-to-day operations.

Module 7: Leading Transformation. This session will highlight key elements of system-wide transformation, such a evaluating and modifying practice; increasing staff and stakeholder buy-in; and promoting sustainability and continuous quality improvement.

During the certificate program, participating teams will also have dedicated planning time to develop and refine detailed strategic action plans to advance system-wide improvements in their jurisdictions based on the program curricula and additional analyses of strengths and weaknesses across the key domains of juvenile probation practice in their respective jurisdictions. Further, teams will receive one year of distance and on-site technical assistance (TA) from CJJR, the CSG Justice Center, AECF, and relevant subject matter experts to help them implement their plans. TA will help jurisdictions to develop new policies and practices; identify and advance best practice implementation strategies; train staff and stakeholders to promote their buy-in and collaboration; and assess, evaluate, and sustain progress.

The request for applications provides additional information on the program and how to apply. Applications are due July 26.

Source: JusticeCenter