California Probation Resource Institute Commissions New Study Focused on the Evolution of Juvenile Justice

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Today, the newly formed California Probation Resource Institute (CaPRI) announced the development of a report that will examine how state law pertaining to juveniles has changed and how these changes have affected probation’s responsibilities and obligations to serve youth in the areas of prevention, intervention, detention and supervision in the juvenile justice system.

“Much can happen over the course of 25 years, and to keep improving our system and rehabilitation for youth, we must first have an understanding of where specifically our focus should be to continue to evolve our system to best serve youth,” said Chief Stephanie James, President of the Chief Probation Officers of California (CPOC). “Juvenile justice in California has seen major changes and this report will provide a foundation to ensure we continue to bolster evidence-based practices that will best benefit impacted individuals and our communities.”

This report will be produced by the Children’s Advocacy Institute at the University of San Diego School of Law, utilizing the expertise of its Fellmeth-Peterson Professor in Residence in Child Rights, juvenile justice authority Jessica Heldman. Jessica previously led initiatives in policy and practice development for child welfare and juvenile justice systems around the nation as Associate Executive Director of the Robert F. Kennedy National Resource Center for Juvenile Justice.

“Juvenile justice law and policy in California has certainly evolved and it will be valuable to analyze the impact of this evolution on the culture and operations of juvenile probation departments.,” said Professor Jessica Heldman. “We are hopeful that our work can be beneficial in future efforts to identify best practices.”

CaPRI announced last month its first report that will be led by Mia Bird who is a visiting Assistant Professor at UC Berkeley, and Ryken Grattet who is a Professor of Sociology at UC Davis. The report will focus on the impacts since the enactment of Senate Bill 678, and its influence on probation departments.

A project of the Chief Probation Officers of California (CPOC), CaPRI is part of a long-term strategic plan to further the evolution of probation practices. It will provide evaluations of juvenile and adult probation practices and programs by partnering with esteemed academic experts from top universities, and work to build further strategic partnerships expanding the availability of related resource tools.

Both reports are anticipated to be completed by early 2020.