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James Rieland Honored for Exceptional Contributions to Juvenile Justice Reform in Pennsylvania


James J. Rieland, Director of Allegheny County Probation and critical fixture in Pennsylvania’s Models for Change initiative, has been awarded the Dennis M. Maloney Award for his exceptional contributions to Pennsylvania’s juvenile justice system.  Dennis Maloney, who passed away in 2007 at the age of 55, was widely regarded as a pivotal figure and driving force in national juvenile justice reform. Mr. Maloney began working with Pennsylvania leaders in the 1980’s and was instrumental in developing the capacity to operationalize the Balanced and Restorative Justice model across the state. His profound impact on Pennsylvania’s juvenile justice system led the Pennsylvania Council of Chief Juvenile Probation Officers and the Juvenile Court Judges’ Commission to establish this award as a means to honor others who have made exceptional contributions. Jim Rieland is one of those exceptional individuals.

Jim directs all aspects of Allegheny County’s adult and juvenile probation services, which includes responsibility for an annual budget in excess of $60 million and a staff of 500 who provide supervision to approximately 17,000 adults and 5,000 juveniles on any given day. During his 34 years of distinguished service with Allegheny County, Jim Rieland has developed a reputation as a visionary leader and mentor to colleagues throughout Pennsylvania and across the nation. Jim’s leadership, collaborative spirit and vision have been a driving force in creating innovative models for juvenile justice reform and his many contributions to the Models for Change initiative will continue to benefit children and families for many years to come. 

Mr. Rieland began his career with Allegheny County in 1975 as a juvenile probation officer, after graduating Cum Laude from the University of Pittsburgh with a Bachelor of Arts in the Administration of Justice.  He continued working as a juvenile probation officer, and earned his Master of Public Administration from Pitt in 1978. From 1979 until 1994, he held a series of increasingly responsible supervisory positions with the Juvenile Court. From 1994 until 1997, Mr. Rieland was the Deputy Director of Casework Services for Allegheny County Children and Youth Services.  He returned to the Juvenile Court as Director of Court Services in 1997 and worked in that capacity until his appointment in June of 2005 as Director of Allegheny County Probation to assume responsibility of both adult and juvenile probation operations.

When Mr. Rieland returned to the Juvenile Court in 1997 as Director of Court Services, he immediately began to develop a strategy to make the Juvenile Act’s new balanced and restorative justice mission a reality in Allegheny County and throughout the Commonwealth.  Working in close partnership with Denny Maloney, the National Center for Juvenile Justice, the Juvenile Court Judges’ Commission, the Pennsylvania Council of Chief Juvenile Probation Officers and others, Jim stressed the importance of keeping the community well informed about the juvenile justice system’s legislative mandates and our efforts to achieve them.

In 1998, Mr. Rieland accepted significant new responsibilities as Chairman of the Balanced and Restorative Justice Committee of the Pennsylvania Council of Chief Juvenile Probation Officers, and continued in that role until 2004, when he began a two-year stint as President of the Chiefs’ Council.   He returned as Chairman in 2006, and is once again leading Pennsylvania’s entire juvenile justice system in our ongoing efforts to achieve the statutory mission established by Act 33 of Special Session No. 1 of 1995.

Mr. Rieland is a gubernatorial appointee to the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency’s Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Committee.  He was selected as Pennsylvania’s Chief Juvenile Probation Officer of the Year in 2002, and was honored in 2007 as Juvenile Court Administrator of the Year by the National Juvenile Court Services Association.

The Pennsylvania Council of Chief Juvenile Probation Officers and the Juvenile Court Judges’ Commission proudly honor James J. Rieland as the Commonwealth’s second recipient of the Dennis M. Maloney Award.

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Models for Change is supported by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, website operated by Justice Policy Institute.