The mission of the Fulton County Juvenile Probation Services Department is to provide positive transformative supervision approaches using best practices that will successfully align youth and families with appropriate evidence based supportive services. In coordinating rehabilitative services with community partners and stakeholders for the purpose of restoring and strengthening the families involved with Fulton County Juvenile Court, we will increase positive outcomes to reduce interactions with the Court while achieving lasting public safety.
The department’s vision is to strive to offer an effective balanced approach to supervision of youth as a means for intervention to avoid further delinquency. We envision providing the appropriate level of supervision in order to hold children accountable for their behavior. We will use the most current and progressive best practices of evidence-based decisions to provide opportunities for meaningful diversions from court, broker effective treatment services, and structure sustainable rehabilitation into law-abiding productive citizens.
The Fulton County Juvenile Court Probation Services Department not only provides treatment, rehabilitation, and supervision, but also strives to maximize public safety by holding youth accountable for their behavior using the most current and progressive means possible. The department fulfills these goals by addressing multiple casual factors which contribute to wayward youthful behavior. By providing maximum community-based supervision and through the utilization of services provided by outside counseling agencies and service providers, the department seeks to positively impact not only the youth, but the parents, family and entire community.
For inquiries regarding Juvenile Court Probation, please contact:
Director, Probation Services
p: 404.612.4522 | e: email@example.com
Assistant Director, Probation Services
p: 404.613.4490 | e: firstname.lastname@example.org
Probation Officers within the ACT Unit are usually the first contact with the Probation Department after the youth attends court. ACT Officers are responsible for conducting interviews with the youth and parent, utilizing the Youth Assessment and Screening Instrument (YASI) to identify the youth’s risk to re-offend in the community and what services they need to address the behavior that brought them before the court. They also use the Massachusetts Assessment Youth Screening Instrument (MAYSI-2) to assess the youth for any critical mental health issues that may drive their behaviors. One the initial assessments have been completed, the ACT Unit Supervisor classifies the case according to their risk level and the region in which they live. The case is then transitioned to one of the Community-based Probation Units for supervision.
This Unit also serves as a follow up point of contact immediately following a hearing to ensure that all court ordered conditions, referrals for services, screenings, and evaluations are scheduled when a youth has not been assigned to community-based Probation Officer. Additionally, they monitor youth placed on Alternative to Detention Electronic Monitoring and tracking.
Diversion is used to address the needs of youth with are deemed to have a low risk to reoffend in the community. This offers an opportunity to avoid exposing low level first offenders to other youth who are involved in more severe delinquent activity. Research shows that the use of diversion efforts reduces the overall caseload size of the entire division and significantly frees up limited resources and allows for the concentrate efforts to be focused on more chronic or serious juvenile offenders who pose a higher risk of threat to community safety.
The primary objective of the Diversion Unit is to redirect youth who have been charged with relatively minor misdemeanors and/or first-time offenses, away from formal court processing, while still holding them accountable for their actions. Probation Officers assigned to this unit connect youth to community-based service providers and/or resources aimed at addressing the underlying issues which may have led to the youth’s delinquent behavior.
Parents are involved in the process as often as possible. We firmly believe that the best chance possible of the child not returning to the court for further deviant behavior is achieved when we work collectively with the parent to address the child’s behavior. For example, we require that parents attend the “First Time Offenders Workshop” along with their child, which allows us to reinforce to the parents the importance of their role in redirecting the behaviors exhibited by their child.
The Diversion Unit also oversees pre-adjudicated cases with agreements to hold the case in abeyance until the youth completes assignments as decided upon by the youth’s attorney and the District Attorney.
Nationally, when a child is adjudicated of a delinquent offense and is afforded the opportunity to remain in the community as opposed to being detained in a youth detention facility, the most frequently ordered disposition is that they be placed on an order of probation. The primary goal of probation supervision is to address identified casual factors of delinquent behavior and to build or restore deficient competencies which may have led to such behavior. Equally important is the probation division’s ability to restore any loss suffered by victims of the child’s offense and to reduce the likelihood of future behaviors that abolish civil order and peace.
Naturally, the goal of any juvenile probation division should be to develop a model of case assignment and management that enables officers to supervise children in an environment inclusive of critical elements such as relatively small caseloads, qualitative contact standards, and effective community-based service options for children and families. Our model of assigning all moderate to low risk level cases and “non-designated felony” cases to community-based supervision units according to the geographical location of their residence. These community-based units are separated into three regions Unit 1 serves youth in central Fulton County, Unit 2 serves youth in South Fulton County, and Unit 3 serves youth in North Fulton County.
The basic premise of the IMPACT Unit is to provide a more intensive level of probation monitoring and community-based treatment options for youth who have been adjudicated for a Designated Felony offense without restrictive custody sentencing and who are at moderate to high risk for re-offending. The goal is achieved by having officers assigned with smaller caseloads, which in turn allows an enhanced variety of risk control strategies, including increased face-to-face contacts, qualitative meeting standards as opposed to brief sterile quantitative contacts, increased access to electronic monitoring options and higher cost evidence-based program options.
The IMPACT Unit provides specialized high-level supervision using a 3-Level case management process. Youth assigned to the unit are initially monitored at Level 1, which is the highest level of supervision for first 3 months. Upon compliance with all expectations, they are moved to Level 2 supervision for the next 6 months. This level is least restrictive and focuses on the youth receiving therapeutic services identified through the risk and needs assessment. Finally, upon compliance with Level 2 supervision, the youth are moved to Level 3 supervision which is a lower level of monitoring for at least 3 months.