Types of Supervision
Once discharged from a residential placement, this is the supervision that monitors the juvenile's adjustment to the community.
This is an expansion of the school-based program. All school districts and communities in Lehigh County will have probation officers placed in their assigned schools. The primary mission is to involve schools and the communities in the supervision and treatment of juveniles in their towns, neighborhoods, and classrooms. Probation Officers are encouraged to interact with their assigned communities and provide presentations to crime with group and civic associations.
A panel in which County citizens serve on community panels to decide the consequences for a juvenile charged with minor offenses in order to divert these individuals away from the juvenile justice system. The CJP program provides an alternative method for dealing with first-time juvenile offenders who commit low-level, non-violent crimes. This program was created in 1999 by The IMPACT Project, a local private social service agency, and the Lehigh County Juvenile Probation Department. It was originally funded through a grant, but Lehigh County's Human Services Department now fully funds the program through juvenile probation's budget.
When a juvenile is first referred to the Juvenile Probation Department, he or she will meet with an Intake Officer from the Court Liaison Unit. It is this Officer's responsibility to discuss the delinquent offense as well as obtain information about the juvenile's background to assess the juvenile's strengths and criminogenic needs. From the information gathered and the use of the Youth Level of Service (YLS), the Intake Officer develops a recommendation utilizing evidence based and balanced and restorative justice principles to build competencies, reduce recidivism, restore victims and protect the community.
Often times, services are implemented at this level to prevent further delinquency by addressing the juvenile's criminogenic needs. Once this task has been completed, the case is assigned to a Community Based Probation Officer for on-going supervision.
When determined appropriate, private agencies assist the Juvenile Probation Department in supervising and counseling juveniles upon their return from a residential treatment program.
This program has been in place for a number of years. Currently, there are budget funds available for community based counseling, residential placements in foster homes, and group home programs for youth needing services from both Juvenile Probation and Children and Youth Services.
In an effort to reduce the length of stay for youth who need residential treatment, referrals to and weekend programs are utilized. Additionally, Youth Forestry Camp #3 operates three short-term high impact programs which also help reduce the need for long-term placement.
School Based Probation is a grant funded program initiated in 1990. This program physically places probation officers in the schools to supervise their clients and interact with teachers and other students on a daily basis. Individual classroom presentations are scheduled as much as possible in order to explain the consequences for illegal behavior so as to deter youth from committing crimes. This program has been a model for other counties throughout the State and it is estimated that millions of dollars have been saved statewide in residential placement costs by providing this type of involvement and supervision.
Lehigh County Juvenile Probation and The IMPACT Project, Inc. implemented the SJP, which is an early intervention program that will target first time offenders whose criminal offense has taken place at one of the four Allentown middle schools. The School Justice Panel program is a multi-systemic intervention designed to help juveniles realize their potential while holding them accountable for their behaviors, providing protection to the community, promoting the value of an education, and providing positive role models to ensure positive individual growth. Youth referred will attend a meeting with a panel of trained professionals from the various social service agencies and schools in Lehigh County in lieu of going to a district justice or juvenile court hearing. The youth and their family must agree and contract with the panel to complete the terms of their contract and the time frame with which they have to finish the conditions. The elements of the contract are designed to hold a youth accountable, restore the community and victim, and teach competency skills. Referred youth receive a mental health/risk assessment protocol to assist the panel in determining if there are underlying issues that would be better served by one of the other social service agencies in Lehigh County.
This partnership between the Office of Lehigh County Mental Health and the Juvenile Probation Department provides a mental health caseworker and a probation officer to jointly and intensively supervise delinquent youth that experience severe MH/MR problems. This team works closely with community based mental health services to assist the client in developing emotional stability while remaining delinquency free. If inpatient or residential care is necessary to address the client's issues, the S.P.O.R.E. team assists the juvenile and his or her family with that process.
Lehigh County Court of Common Pleas, 455 West Hamilton Street, Allentown, PA 18101-1614 • (610) 782-3000