Juvenile probation is not a new practice, but one that is always getting refined. Over the years, juvenile probation has moved from social workers working with youth on court ordered mandates to probation workers looking to take away the freedoms of the probationers under their watch. There are some trends, both past and present, that point in the direction society as a whole want the programs to go.
The current views on juvenile probation are more of a balanced approach, in which the probationers are looking to restore the community and victim to their pre-crime status. Sixteen states currently have adopted a balanced approach for their juvenile justice with others having something similar. This balanced approach is a mixture of restorative justice, rehabilitation, and classical criminology (Whitehead & Lab, 2013). While juvenile probation has moved back and forth between aspects over the years, most recently has been showing a renewed emphasis on status offenses. This can be seen in Kern County, California where they implemented a truancy program for juveniles who fail initial efforts of resolution. The deputy probation officers work closely with the youth, the school, the family, and the community in an effort to reduce and ultimately eliminate the truancy before it becomes more of a problem.
Another direction that at least one state is taking is joining the forces of the juvenile justice department and the child welfare departments. This is done with the insight that both departments deal with juveniles and can pool their resources in order to help reduce truancy and further crimes by catching on to high risk juveniles early before they have a chance to turn criminal. Although these conjoining of departments may be more financially motivated in Illinois and New York City, it share a common goal of serving youth (Peters, 2011).
While these current trends show the direction of juvenile justice, they don't mention the pitfalls and problems facing juvenile probation departments. Current recidivism measurements have shown over 50% of youths are arrested after release for one or more new felonies. Technical violations brings that number up to 80%. With these numbers being so...