Bridging Research and Practice in Juvenile Probation

urban logoOver the past several decades, the knowledge base on how to improve public safety and outcomes for youth has expanded substantially, yet the probation officers that work with these young people lack guidance on how this research can inform their work.

This report, from the Urban Institute, offers practical tips for front-line juvenile probation officers to align their practice with research on successful strategies for reducing recidivism and improving outcomes for youth, their families, and the communities in which they live. The report describes five core practice areas: screening, assessment, and structured decision making; case planning; matching services and promoting positive youth development; structuring supervision to promote long-term behavior change; and incentivizing success and implementing graduated responses. For each area, the report highlights relevant research findings, identifies core focus areas for bridging research and practice, and offers concrete strategies for probation officers and agencies to hold youth accountable, prevent future delinquency, and promote healthy development.