In just one year, more than 380,000 young people were put on probation — either formally or informally, according to a 2018 report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation.
It’s a statistic that David Muhammad is dedicated to changing.
A criminal justice and youth development expert, Muhammad currently serves as executive director of the National Institute for Criminal Justice Reform. Muhammad has seen — on repeat — how juvenile probation plays out in the real world. And he’s far from impressed.
The Casey Foundation’s Lisa Hamilton recently spoke with Muhammad about juvenile probation. Their conversation explores why the current approach is broken, why involving families in the solution is essential and what young people really need to thrive.
During the conversation, David Muhammad shares, among other things:
It’s not like those young people don’t need something. They just don’t need a probation officer. They don’t need searches and monitors and surveillance. They need adults in the community who care about them to engage them.”
When we have a young person who does need some involvement in the system, then we need to assess their strengths, assess their needs and then develop a plan with the youth and the family at the table.”
If you’re going to be successful, then you must serve that family because that’s where that young person is living and going back to if they’re in custody.”
Listen to the conversation on AECF.org.