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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 221286 Find in a Library
Title: Evaluation of Pennsylvania's School-based Probation Program
Author(s): Patricia Torbet; Ralph Ricci; Carol Brooks; Susan Zawacki
Corporate Author: National Ctr for Juvenile Justice
United States of America
Date Published: September 2001
Page Count: 139
Sponsoring Agency: National Ctr for Juvenile Justice
Pittsburgh, PA 15203-2363
Pennsylvania Cmssn on Crime and Delinquency
Harrisburg, PA 17108-1167
Grant Number: 1997/1999-J-05-9678
Sale Source: National Ctr for Juvenile Justice
3700 South Water Street, Suite 200
Pittsburgh, PA 15203-2363
United States of America

Pennsylvania Cmssn on Crime and Delinquency
P. O. Box 1167
Harrisburg, PA 17108-1167
United States of America
Document: PDF
Type: Program/Project Description
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This report evaluates school-based probation in Pennsylvania
Abstract: Results indicated that school administrators, school probation officers, and chiefs/supervisors regarded the program as an overall success, and particularly gave high marks to its positive impact on probationers and improved communication between the school and the probation department. The program provided school based probation officers increased contact with probationers, which promoted a rapport with youth on probation, resulting in more effective supervision. The outcomes were positive relationships, faster response times, and better offender accountability. School personnel believed that the program was effective on probationers, as well as on the general school population since absenteeism, suspensions, and school disciplinary referrals also decreased. By inserting probation officers into the middle and high school buildings where juvenile probationers spent the majority of the day, it not only fostered a closer and more informed supervision of probationers, but improved communication between the courts and schools, and appeared to have positive impact on the overall school climate by preventing delinquent behavior on the part of students who were at risk. However, as presently implemented, school-based probation programs have certain characteristic weaknesses, most of which are related to areas in which probation departments struggle to meet the Juvenile Court Judges’ Commission (JCJC) standards for such programs. In particular, the evaluators found that though there may be written agreements between courts and schools participating in school-based probation, there is still doubt and confusion regarding the appropriate responsibilities of juvenile probation officers working in schools, and fundamental variations in the way the school-based probation officers’ function as revealed; further leadership in standard-setting and enforcement is needed. Despite its limitations, school-based probation works well within the balanced and restorative justice framework and needs to be strengthened and expanded. The recommendations present a plan for assisting the JCJC and school-based probation programs in improving and expanding the program. Tables, references, appendix
Main Term(s): Juvenile probation officers; Juvenile probation services; Juvenile probationers; Juvenile program evaluation
Index Term(s): Juvenile probation effectiveness; Pennsylvania; Probation casework; Probation effectiveness; School based probation
Note: Appendix
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