Dear Fellow Citizen:
Thank you for your interest in the Juvenile Probation Department, and welcome to our Web Site! We hope that you will find the information provided regarding the youth of Erie County informative.
The Juvenile Justice System in Pennsylvania exists and functions to fulfill the following purposes of the Juvenile Act, which are set forth in 42 Pa.C.S. 6301:
1. To preserve the unity of the family whenever possible or to provide another alternative permanent family when the unity of the family cannot be maintained.
2. 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 the offenses committed and the development of competencies to enable children to become responsible and productive members of the community.
3. To achieve the foregoing purposes in a family environment whenever possible, separating the child from parents only when necessary for their welfare, safety or health or in the interest of public safety.
4. To provide means through which the provision of this chapter are executed and enforced and in which the parties are assured a fair hearing and their constitutional and other legal rights recognized and enforced.
In addition to the above functions, every decision within our Department is based upon the philosophy of the Balanced Approach to Restorative Justice (BARJ). Justice is best served when the community, the victim and the youth receive balanced attention and gain tangible outcomes from their interaction with the Juvenile Court. Our office has a strong commitment to the following three BARJ principles:
1. Community Protection: The public has the right to a safe and secure community.
2. Accountability: When a delinquent offense is committed by a juvenile, an obligation to the victim and the community is incurred.
3. Competency Development: Juvenile offenders who come within the jurisdiction of the Juvenile Court should leave the system more capable of living productively and responsibly in the community.
The Probation Department also employs evidence based practices with fidelity at every stage of the Juvenile Justice process. This includes completion of a Risk Assessment and a Case Plan for all juveniles. Juvenile’s needs are matched to appropriate services. Juvenile Probation Officers are trained in certain interpersonal skills to develop effective professional relationships in an attempt to reduce violations, reduce recidivism, and improve outcomes.
This web site is designed to provide information about the Juvenile Probation Department and how it operates. We would encourage you to call our agency if you have any questions or concerns regarding our agency.
Robert J. Blakely
Chief Juvenile Probation Officer