The Empowerment Program: Arming Probationers with Life Skills, Support, and Access to Resources


Monday, August 19, 2019
1:15 PM - 2:15 PM
Session Type: Workshop

The innovative Empowerment program arm probationers with life skills needed to be pro-social members of the community. Judge Givens-Davis began to utilize her influence, in 2016, to build an army of high-powered and well-educated mentors. Mentors are passionate about giving back and donate their time and skills to the program. They each meet individually with their mentee for the duration of the program. During monthly evening court, Judge Givens-Davis receives updates from the supervising officer, but the focus is education to empower the individual to make prosocial changes in their life. The probationers have expert assistance in the area of documentation, education, resume construction, dress, grooming, etiquette, public speaking, interviewing, banking, and social media to achieve employment prior to graduation. The concept of paying it forward continues as probationers volunteer at a homeless shelter. The Empowerment program is a fresh breeze in Judicial interventions for probationers re-entering our community.


Judge Amber Givens-Davis
Judge, Dallas County CSCD

Judge Amber Givens-Davis is a dedicated public servant presiding over the 282nd Judicial District Court in Dallas County, Texas. Before taking office on January 1, 2015, Judge Givens-Davis served as an Assistant District Attorney in New York and Texas for eight years. She believes everyone is entitled to a just and fair system; which is evidenced by her two programs, the Word of Mouth series and Empowerment Program both featured on KDFW Fox4. She serves on the Advisory Board of the Oak Cliff Boys and Girls Club, the Dallas County Juvenile Board, and the Advisory Board of the Dallas Women Lawyers Association amongst other organizations. In 2015, she was elected as a Texas Bar Foundation Fellow, the highest honor of the State Bar of Texas.

Jill Johansson-Love, Ph.D.
Area Manager of ATRS, Dallas County CSCD

Jill Johansson-Love Ph.D. is a psychologist and probation officer, who has trained and worked in forensic hospitals, jails, and prisons. She is the interim Deputy Director of Dallas County CSCD. She presents at local, state, and national conferences on a variety of mental health and criminal justice related topics. She has published research in the area of female and male sex offenders (and violent offenders), stalking, rape prevention, criminal thinking, ethics, and competency assessment.