- Massachusetts Probation Service
Media Contact for School is back in session and Juvenile Probation Officers are in schools and communities across the state assisting court-involved children
Coria Holland, Communications Director
Juvenile Probation Officers regularly stop by to speak with teachers and officials about young people under probation supervision or who are court-involved.
Juvenile Probation Officers in Plymouth, Suffolk and Middlesex counties are doing work that impacts the schools and the community.
Plymouth Juvenile Probation Officer Bonnie Vonasek presented the Children Requiring Assistance (CRA) process to educators in the Abington School Department. Ms. Vonasek also participated in a separate unique training hosted by Strategies for Youth where she learned how to use Jeopardy games geared towards trauma and juvenile justice. Assistant Chief Probation Officer Kelly Flaven presented on CRA in a Zoom break-out group at the New England School Safety Conference.
Suffolk Juvenile Probation Officers are working with the Transit Police of the Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority (MBTA) to help keep court-involved juveniles using the “T” to commute to and from school. Approximately 5,000 students use the Orange Line—which was shut down for a month for repairs— to get to and from school, according to the MBTA. This partnership between Suffolk Juvenile and Transit Police is more than 20 years old. The PO’s assist with crowd control and provide a presence at MBTA stops to prevent juveniles from misbehaving on public transportation, according to Suffolk Juvenile Chief Probation Officer Kevin McClerklin.
Essex Juvenile Probation Officer Kelly Conlin and Middlesex Juvenile Assistant Chief Probation Officer Carlos Ruiz are helping to educate youth about career planning. Mr. Ruiz is a former Essex County Juvenile Probation Officer.
They are volunteers in the Altman Career Development Program which provides both a four and eight week career development program for at-risk youth and young adults in the Lawrence area. The Altman Program is an initiative of Debbie’s Treasure Chest.
Approximately 142 students have participated in this program which features Career Literacy, Self-Awareness, and increases “employability” skills such as resume, cover letter, interviewing tips, application assistance and networking, according to the program's website. The program also helps young people identify local resources and offers financial literacy.