In 2017, the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges adopted a resolution supporting and committing to juvenile probation systems that specifically consider adolescent brain development.National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (NCJFCJ), Resolution Regarding Juvenile Probation and Adolescent Development (Washington, DC: NCJFCJ, 2017).
In 2018, several national organizations followed up on that resolution with calls for expanding diversion programs for youth, as well as for fundamental changes in the nature of juvenile probation. In May, the Council of State Governments and Georgetown University’s Center for Juvenile Justice Reform published a report proposing six transformative principles for juvenile justice, including “redefin[ing] the primary function of community supervision as promoting positive youth behavior change.”Josh Weber, Michael Umpierre, and Shay Bilchik, Transforming Juvenile Justice Systems to Improve Public Safety and Youth Outcomes (Washington, DC: Georgetown University Center for Juvenile Justice Reform & CSG Justice Center, 2018), 2. In the same month, the Annie E. Casey Foundation published a report specifically focused on transforming juvenile probation, citing the significant role of probation in “perpetuating . . . the vast and continuing overrepresentation of African-American, Latino and other youth of color” in the nation’s justice systems, as well as acknowledging that it is a major driver of incarceration for the nearly half a million young people on probation annually.Richard A. Mendel, Transforming Juvenile Probation: A Vision for Getting It Right (Baltimore, MD: Annie E. Casey Foundation, 2018), 3 & 5.