Transforming Juvenile Probation: A Vision for Getting it Right


Tuesday, August 20, 2019
2:00 PM - 3:30 PM
Session Type: Workshop

This workshop will center around the important Annie E. Casey Foundation (AECF) report on “Transforming Juvenile Probation: A Vision for Getting it Right” and the critical challenges has posed for the field. The evidence and rationale for two interdependent approaches will be presented, specifically, (1) diverting more youth from formal system involvement and probation, thus leaving a smaller population of youth, and (2) refashioning juvenile probation to provide meaningful intervention that embraces principles of adolescent development and race equity and inclusion. The presenters will cover organizational culture and practice shifts that will be necessary to adopt both approaches and will go on to outline specific efforts in two initial Probation Transformation sites (Pierce County, Washington, and Lucas County, Ohio). Attendees will also learn about related resources and learning opportunities. These will include, but not be limited to, APPA’s partnership with AECF on the integration of developmental science in juvenile probation and, secondly, the upcoming Transforming Juvenile Probation certification program through the Center for Juvenile Justice Reform at Georgetown University in partnership with the AECF and the Council for State Governments.


Scott S. MacDonald
Justice Consultant, Justsolve Inc

Scott MacDonald is a retired Chief Probation Officer from Santa Cruz County, California and has over 30 years of experience in adult and juvenile probation. He presently consults in the areas of juvenile and criminal justice reform. He works closely with the Annie E. Casey Foundation in the implementation of the Probation Transformation, Deep End and Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative. Scott also worked with California Forward to develop and implement the Justice System Change Initiative (J-SCI). Scott holds a Master of Science Degree in Administration of Justice from San Jose State University and a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology from the University of California Santa Cruz. He has lectured nationally in the areas of restorative justice, and juvenile and criminal justice reform. Scott lectured at the University of California Santa Cruz, San Jose State University and at Cabrillo Community College. He is published in Federal Probation and he contributed three chapters of a book on Juvenile Reentry, by the Federal Office of Juvenile Justice Delinquency Prevention

Opal West
Senior Associate, The Annie E. Casey Foundation

Opal is a Program Associate for the Juvenile Justice Strategy Group with the Annie E. Casey Foundation, 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.

Kevin Williams
Probation Director, Pierce County Juvenile Court

Kevin Williams is the Probation Manager at the Pierce County Juvenile Court. Kevin has been employed with the Juvenile Court since 2000. Kevin leads the probation transformation efforts in Pierce County and has been instrumental in developing cutting edge programs based on a positive youth justice framework including Opportunity Based Probation (OBP) and expansive diversion programing. Prior to the Juvenile Court, he was a Case Manager for a Youth Advocacy Program and Group Leader at a group home for Dependent and adjudicated youth. Kevin had the opportunity to participate in the Applied Leadership Network with the Casey Foundation in 2012-2013. Kevin graduated from Gonzaga University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminal Justice and Sociology