Integration of Developmental Science in Juvenile Probation: Gaps in Practice and Policy


Monday, August 19, 2019
11:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Session Type: Workshop

This workshop will share the highlights of a project carried out by the Annie E. Casey Foundation and American Probation and Parole Association to examine what is known about developmental science in relation to juvenile probation. The workshop will give participants a useful general grounding on the pertinent issues and will then go on to cover the advisory committee’s construction of a survey about adolescent brain development. After a discussion regarding some knowledge gaps in this field identified by the advisory committee, the APPA will present the survey findings. The presenters will conclude by going over some future steps and potential solutions to address the problems identified by the survey.


Travis Johnson
Program Associate, American Probation and Parole Association

Travis Johnson, is a Program Associate of Grants and Research with the American Probation and Parole Association. In his role, he assists with work on the association’s various grant-funded projects involving training, technical assistance, and research/evaluation to the community corrections field. Travis is currently working on several projects. BJA’s Project Safe Neighborhood as well as several different tribal initiatives. His interest lean towards supervision through technology and supervision of radicalized domestic terrorists. He received his Master’s in Safety, Security and Emergency Management from Eastern Kentucky University.

Opal West
Senior Associate, The Annie E. Casey Foundation

Opal is a Program Associate for the JJSG working to improve the nation’s probation practices for young people through the Probation Transformation work. She began her career as a juvenile probation and parole officer for the state of Louisiana. She then went on to work for a division of the Governor’s Office to oversee the Juvenile Justice grants administered by OJJDP. While in this position, she served on the statewide task force to create the Statewide Detention Standards for all juvenile detention centers to improve conditions of confinement worked closely with the adult sentencing commission to pursue elimination of mandatory minimums and reduce Louisiana’s notorious incarceration rate. She went on to become the JDAI/DMC State Coordinator where she led all efforts for state scale work, expansion for JDAI, merged JDAI and DMC efforts to focus on racial and ethnic equity, helped design statewide law enforcement trainings on interactions with young people, worked with advocates to pass reform legislation; such as Raise the Age and Elimination of Indiscriminate Shackling, and was appointed to the Secure Care Task Force to develop standards of care for all state-run secure facilities. In her spare time, she and her son like to explore museums, go on “adventures”, and watch movies.