Source: (2005) Corrections Today. August:104-106.

In the summer of 1990, representatives of the County Juvenile Probation Department and the Allentown School District met to discuss ways to improve communication and the handling of problematic juvenile probationers enrolled in school. This collaboration led to the development of school-based probation. A 3-year State grant funded two additional probation officers who located their offices in the middle schools of the district, enabling them to interact more with their clients and respond quicker to their school-related problems. An independent case-control evaluation of the program found that school-based probation clients had significantly more time in the community without criminal charges and placement and were significantly less likely to be charged with serious new crimes than juveniles under traditional probation. The success of school-based probation encouraged the County Juvenile Probation Department to place offices at strategic community locations. At that time, Balanced and Restorative Justice had been enacted into law in Pennsylvania. This new concept addresses the priority of repairing the harm done to victims and the community while ensuring that the needs of juvenile offenders are met. Under this concept, the Juvenile Probation Department provides services to address community safety, holding juveniles accountable for their actions, and arranging for juveniles to participate in competency-development activities. Committees were formed and community volunteers recruited to serve on Community Justice Panels, which review low-level juvenile offenses and determine appropriate action in accordance with restorative justice principles. Abstract courtesy of the National Criminal Justice Reference Service,