Jurisdictions should examine the current roles and responsibilities of their juvenile probation and education systems to identify opportunities to adopt more research-based, developmentally appropriate approaches for improving school attendance and performance for youth under system supervision.
Here are five concrete policy, practice, and funding strategies for court and probation agencies to consider.
1. Revamp Supervision Conditions
Eliminate or revamp standardized, education-related conditions of supervision so such conditions are generally imposed only if and when school issues are a direct cause of individual youth’s delinquent behavior.
2. Tailor Interventions
Reduce or eliminate the time that probation officers spend tracking down school records and making school visits for all youth on their caseloads unless school attendance is directly related to the actual causes of individual youth’s delinquent behavior. In such cases, probation officers should partner with schools, youth, families, and community-based organizations to identify and connect youth with programs and services that address the individualized reasons underlying their school attendance and performance challenges.
3. Adjust Operations
Maintain operations during nontraditional hours to ensure that youth don’t have to miss school (and families don’t have to miss work) for court hearings and probation appointments.
4. Eliminate School Contacts
Eliminate probation contacts while youth are at school to avoid youth feeling stigmatized. If such appointments are absolutely necessary, officers should partner with schools to make every effort to keep such meetings confidential.
5. Use Incentives
Employ a formal system of incentives and graduated responses focused on concrete educational goals as the most effective way to promote school progress and hold youth accountable rather than sanctions, such as detention, that have proven costly and ineffective.
A new training program will help law enforcement agencies transform their juvenile probation programs to adopt more developmentally…Read More
Last year, Massachusetts passed legislation representing the most significant changes to the state’s criminal justice system in decades.…Read More
The Restitution Resource Center will help states improve the quality of their restitution systems by providing a central…Read More
A new training program will help law enforcement agencies transform their juvenile probation programs to adopt more developmentally appropriate practices.Read More
Last year, Massachusetts passed legislation representing the most significant changes to the state’s criminal justice system in decades. This legislation took concrete steps to incentivize good behavior in prison, divert people to treatment and programming as an alternative to incarceration, and strengthen community supervision.Read More
The Restitution Resource Center will help states improve the quality of their restitution systems by providing a central source for best practices and successful innovations in the field as well as facilitating peer networks and information exchange.Read More
A conversation with U.S. Department of Education Assistant Secretary Scott Stump explores the critical important of workforce development training for students in the juvenile justice system.Read More