Department Initiatives

    Cook County Juvenile Probation, in partnership with the Annie E. Casey Foundation has implemented Transforming Juvenile Probation: A focused intervention that promotes personal growth, positive behavior change, and long-term success for youth who pose significant risks for serious offending. Areas of focus will be to reduce court ordered conditions, offer family-based case planning, connect with credible messengers (people previously involved in the juvenile justice system and are working as mentors), enhance and review diversion practices, involve youth and family in decision making processes, and to introduce the idea of coaching probation. Transformation will be an ongoing opportunity for all systems to create change for children in Cook County.

    Cook County Juvenile Probation was selected to engage in collaborative learning sessions with Equity in Practice (EIP) based on a unique set of tools and skills from the Annie E Casey Foundation. Sessions will help participants examine how they do their work and know what it looks like to be in partnership with community to identify and move equity-centered results. These sessions will emphasize decision-making and setting vision, goals and desired results in partnership with community members and community-based organizations. This pathway with EIP provides practice-based coaching and support to help teams shift from readiness into working with clearly defined, measurable results for youth of color. Its approach expands efforts beyond the leader table to line-level implementation and employs strategies to enhance will, skill and knowledge among practitioners at all levels of decision making and partnerships. EIP helps youth justice agencies foster work cultures that can produce and sustain equitable results for youth of color.

    Cook County Juvenile Probation, in partnership with the Annie E. Casey Foundation has implemented Reimaging Juvenile Justice: A curriculum that incorporates Positive youth development fundamentals, uses a cross-systems approach, addresses racial and ethnic equity and includes issues in policy and practice, engages youth voice and empowers youth leadership, fosters positive family relationships in the Juvenile Justice system and transforms policy and practice.

    The purpose of the Committee on Results for Equity (CORE) is to examine policies, programs and practices of the juvenile probation department utilizing a lens that is trauma-informed, anti-racist, equitable and takes into account intersecting and oppressed identities related to gender, ability and sexual orientation.

    CORE recognizes that racial inequities exist within the criminal legal system and functions to disrupt and dismantle those inequities and promote and create spaces for the youth families and communities we serve that are restorative, transformative, compassionate and healing.

    Additionally, CORE builds the awareness of staff, partners and stakeholders by establishing a standard of practice that centers the needs and experiences of the youth and families we walk alongside.

    The Social Determinants of Probation (SDOP) is a staff led initiative that seeks to understand how social factors impact probation outcomes, and how can probation address these factors to improve these same outcomes.

    The core concepts do come from the Social Determinants of Health: Factors outside of health care that have an impact out health care outcomes. The SDOP Team then analyzes the data of the Cook County Court and Probation services with an eye to these same factors (Economic Stability, Neighborhood and Physical Environment, Education, Community and Social Context, Health Care Systems And Food). From this analysis, the goal of the SDOP team is to implement interventions within the community to improve a young person’s chances and quality of success while in the care of the court.