Effective Case Planning

In 2011-2012, Juveniles for Justice Youth Advocates focused on promoting effective case planning in Pennsylvania—specifically, a computerized case planning program developed by the Juvenile Court Judges' Commission (JCJC) that enables probation officers, delinquent youth, and their families to develop a plan together to meet the youth's specific needs. 

Youth Advocates chose case planning as their focus because of their own experiences in the juvenile justice system; most had little or no planning for their transitions back into the community from placement and wanted and needed more support from placement workers and probation officers in making a plan for re-entry, including housing, education, and job opportunities. Comprehensive case planning that addresses how to meet a youth's needs during and after placement is necessary to reduce rates of re-offending and to set up the young person for success in his or her community. 

JCJC's computerized case plan is created before the youth's placement to determine how to meet his or her needs—including education, housing, and job readiness—during and after placement. This individualized case plan, which enables youth to give input and participate in their own rehabilitative process, is updated as progress is made and services are put in place. 

In addition to advocating for this plan, Juveniles for Justice Youth Advocates produced the video below for probation officers and other juvenile justice officials who are training to use the case plan. The video explores the juvenile justice system from a youth perspective, demonstrating how effective and individualized case planning can help youth achieve their goals for the future.