Like most, when I became a juvenile probation officer I entered the field envisioning myself as a counselor or a mentor. But my day-to-day duties were centered around surveillance, compliance monitoring and paperwork, and the composition of my caseload further complicated matters.
I had many kids who really didn’t need my time and attention, let alone probation. These were kids with first-time and/or low-level offenses. I tried to stay out of their way as best I could and hoped they would not violate probation rules, which would force me to take punitive action.
I had a much smaller group of kids who I couldn’t give enough attention to, or the right kind. These were young people with serious and/or repeat offenses, many of whom had multiple treatment needs, but who also needed basic support and opportunities: positive role models, healthy recreational outlets and constructive activities. I simply didn’t have enough time, training, support and resources to reach these kids the way I wanted to.
[For more on this story by Stephen Bishop, go to https://jjie.org/2019/02/20/ju...resources-for-youth/]