Sally Barry is the Chief Juvenile Probation Officer. The office is located
on Oak Street.
The mission of Pennsylvania's Juvenile System is commonly referred to
as "Balanced and Restorative Justice" (BARJ).
Pennsylvania's Juvenile Justice System is guided by the following purpose
of Act 22, The Juvenile Act, at 6301:
"Consistent with the protection of the public interest, to provide for
children committing delinquent acts, programs of supervision, care and
rehabilitation which provide balanced attention to the protection of the
community, the imposition of accountability for offenses committed and the
development of competencies to enable children to become responsible and
productive members of the community."
Juveniles between the ages of ten and seventeen years, who are alleged to
have committed a delinquent act (crime), are referred by police, other law
enforcement agencies, district justices, and other juvenile courts. All
cases receive an Intake Interview which allows for advising child and parent
of the right to counsel. This also provides for determining if the child
readily admits to the charge, gathering family history information, and
establishing whether or not the case will be handled formally or informally.
Informal dispositions are determined during the
Intake and might be a warning and dismissal of the charge. Informal
handling of a case may also include some counseling, payment of restitution
to the victim, and a relatively brief period of supervision by a probation
officer, generally not exceeding a period of three months. A hand-written
letter of apology and/or a tour of the Lebanon County Correctional Facility
may also be required.
A formal disposition may also be imposed and is
called a Consent Decree. This is official probation supervision
but allows for the charge(s) to be dropped following six months of
satisfactory compliance and behavior.
The formal disposition is that imposed by the Court following an
Adjuciatory Hearing. This may include anything from dismissal of
charges (due to insufficient evidence) to placement in a state or private
facility for delinquent youths. Placement facilities vary from 30 day
Wilderness Programs, boot camps, weekend placements, residential programs
(6-12 months), to secure treatment facilities.
Juvenile Probation Supervision generally requires youthful offenders to
report to the juvenile probation department regularly. Probation Officers
will provide counseling and advice to the offender and parents/guardians
towards preventing continued delinquent behavior. Officers determine rules
and special conditions for each client and will make collateral contacts in
the home, school, and community.
Special conditions are almost always included with a youth's probation
and/or placement program. These are individualized to each offender's
circumstance and may include any or several of the following:
On October 1, 1998, County Commissioners voted to sign an agreement
with Northwestern Youth Services to provide juvenile placement services
for the period of October 1, 1998- June 30, 1999. Among the services is
a Boot Camp designed to provide a three month period of highly regimented
programming for delinquent males between the ages of 15 and 18. The
program will bring tougher 32 cadets on the same date, to remain together
as a group until graduation. The mission is to develop an "espirit de
corps," with an expectation of responsible behavior on a consistently
enforced normative system.|
|The basic model is not dissimilar from the true military boot camp
experience. Cadets wear uniforms and live in barrack style
accommodations. The program emphasizes education, wilderness and outdoor
challenge experiences, physical conditioning, community service
restitution projects, positive peer group interaction, and discipline.
Staff will be confrontational. The group experience is used as the means
for behavior and attitude change, yet the program respects the uniqueness
of the individual and provides counseling to assist each cadet in
organizing his objectives and meeting his own individual goals. |
|The youth who graduate from Boot Camp will have a positive self image,
a sense of direction, a set of attainable objectives for the future, an
understanding of the consequences of delinquent behavior, and a
comprehensive aftercare plan. For many, this will represent their first
|Youth for this facility include nonviolent offenders who have not yet
developed a lengthy history of delinquent behavior. These are the youth
about whom it is said, "we need to do something quick and early to get
their attention". Their "buy-in" to this three month experience may be in
lieu of possibly more restrictive or longer dispositions.|