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Probation Review Guidebook

Published Dec 9, 2011, Janet K. Wiig and John A. Tuell, Robert F. Kennedy Children’s Action Corps

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The genesis for this guidebook was the probation review work undertaken in Jefferson Parish, LA as part of the work in the four core states associated with Models for Change: System Reform in Juvenile Justice and in Los Angeles County, CA under a Child Welfare League of America contract with the Los Angeles County Auditor-Controller’s Office. In both of those jurisdictions, over a period of several months, there was a review of programs and operations to support the goals of the probation departments, culminating in reports of findings and recommendations for improvements to the respective departments. A carefully tailored work plan was used to direct the reviews in each instance but the core elements of the plan were essentially the same and included:

A. Program Planning and Implementation
B. Best Practices and Benchmarking
C. Performance Measurement and Client Outcomes
D. Intra- and Inter-agency Work Processes

As the review work progressed in Jefferson Parish, the Model For Change lead entity for Louisiana, the Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center, School of Public Health,and the MacArthur Foundation endorsed the development of a guidebook to assist other jurisdictions that were considering whether to undertake a probation review. They asked the principals who conducted the reviews in Jefferson Parish and Los Angeles County, Janet Wiig and John Tuell, to prepare this guidebook for that purpose.