The Juvenile Probation Office is a social service agency governed by The Juvenile Act (42 Pa.C.S. Section, 6301 et seq.) and The Pennsylvania Rules of Juvenile Court Procedure (Pa.R.J.C.P), which makes decisions in cases involving alleged criminal acts committed by juveniles between the ages of 10 and 17. The department works with the juvenile and family to develop a plan to treat and assist the family in finding solutions to their child's situation.
The Washington County Court of Common Pleas and the Juvenile Probation Department believe that the guiding principles as stated are the mission of the Juvenile Probation Department and should be reflected in all of the operations, programs, and practices of the Juvenile Probation Department and its individual officers, as well as the agencies to whom the department refers clients for additional services:
- The Juvenile Court and Juvenile Probation Department shall provide a balanced system of justice according to the laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania for juvenile delinquents, victims, and the community for youth ages ten to eighteen who have committed crimes. These programs and services shall be provided in accordance with the Balanced and Restorative Justice Model, serving equally the needs of the victim for restoration; the community for protection; and the youth for accountability, growth of competency, and rehabilitation.
- The Juvenile Probation Department and its officers shall service all clients - delinquent youth, parents and families, victims, law enforcement officers, agency representatives, and the public - with equal respect, dignity, and sensitivity.
- The Juvenile Probation Department and its officers will strive to provide leadership to the community in providing a concerned and caring atmosphere in which the needs of youth, the victim, and the community can be provided whenever possible within local communities; and to assist the community in establishing programs to prevent delinquency and intervene when it does occur.
- The Juvenile Probation Department shall strive to preserve the unity of the family by providing services within the home and local community whenever possible while assuring the protection of victims and the public. Placement out-of-home shall be warranted only when necessary for the needs of the youth and/or the protection of the community. When placement is necessary they should be to the least restrictive and shortest-term facility consistent with the needs of the youth and of public safety, and to facilities where the continued participation of the family with the youth and his treatment is possible.
- The Juvenile Probation Department shall strive to have sufficient capacity in staffing and resources to provide an efficient and effective response to juvenile crime.
- The Juvenile Probation Department will work cooperatively with other public social service agencies and provider agencies to form an integrated network providing a comprehensive array of services addressing all of the needs of its mission.
- The Juvenile Probation Department shall assure the provision to all clients of their constitutional and due process rights in compliance with the Juvenile Court Act and other appropriate laws.
- The Juvenile Probation Department shall assure fairness and equity in the provision of all of its services and actions.
- The Juvenile Probation Department shall maintain the confidentiality of its records for youth, families and victims in accordance with law.
- The Juvenile Probation Department and its officers shall be committed to maintaining the highest standards of professional conduct and continued development of professional education.
- The Juvenile Probation Department shall continue to develop the expertise to provide sufficient data to monitor and evaluate its system and services, and to plan for the future.