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Posted on: October 31, 2019

Parish announces participation in national probation reform program

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PARISH ANNOUNCES PARTICIPATION IN NATIONAL PROGRAM ON PROBATION REFORM

The Parish of Caddo Department of Juvenile Services, along with Caddo Juvenile Court, Shreveport Police Department (SPD), the District Attorney’s (DA) office and the Volunteers for Youth Justice (VYJ), announced a joint selection and participation in the Center for Juvenile Justice Reform’s Transforming Juvenile Probation program.

Caddo Parish is one of only seven jurisdictions in the country to be selected for the prestigious program. The Parish’s team consists of representatives from Juvenile Services, Juvenile Court, SPD, DA’s office and VYJ.

The team will travel to Georgetown University on November 3 to begin the program.

“The Parish is excited to lead this team of dynamic, impactful and critical partners in reforming our juvenile justice system and increasing our positive outcomes in Caddo Parish,” said Stormy Gage-Watts, Caddo Parish Commission President and chair of the Commission’s juvenile justice subcommittee.  “When this opportunity came to the committee, we saw the transforming potential that it had for our community and we jumped to apply,” said Gage-Watts. Gage-Watts was responsible for locating the opportunity and encouraging the Parish to apply.

 Many youth frequently face difficulties navigating the process in a rehabilitative way, which affects positive outcomes for many in the juvenile justice system.  To address these challenges, The Center for Juvenile Justice Reform (CJJR) and the Council of State Governments (CSG) Justice Center, in collaboration with and through the funding support of the Annie E. Casey Foundation (Casey), have developed the Transforming Juvenile Probation Certificate Program. The goal of the Certificate Program is to guide and support teams from state and local jurisdictions—including probation leadership, judges, attorneys, and other key stakeholders—to fundamentally transform their system-wide approach to probation, reducing the use of detention and promoting rehabilitation, thereby reducing recidivism.

Over the five day period, teams will receive instruction from researchers, policymakers and practitioners, and guidance from CJJR, the CSG Justice Center, and Casey throughout the training to develop and implement a Capstone Project and strategic action plan to advance system-wide improvements in their jurisdiction.  

After the completion of the capstone project, the program will then come to Caddo Parish and work with Juvenile Services and other ancillary organizations for a year to improve probation services.

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