Small steps with offender reap rewards for juvenile officer – Daily Local
WEST CHESTER—Richelle Goodrich, the American author of “Making Wishes,” had this to say about how small changes can gradually alter the arc of life.
“Small steps may seem unimpressive, but make no mistake,” she wrote. “They are the means by which perspectives are subtly altered, mountains are gradually scaled, and lives are radically changed.”
It’s the approach Danielle “Dani” Crampton, a probation officer with the Chester County Juvenile Probation Officer, literally took with one of her defendants, and which has earned her the praise of her peers. last week.
The offender Crampton was monitoring, a 13-year-old woman and the eldest of 8 children, usually sneaked out of the house at night and got into trouble on several occasions, according to bureau information. The girl reported that her home life was “crazy” and sometimes she just needed to go out.
Crampton, a five-year veteran of the county’s juvenile justice system. suggested the daughter take a walk or hike as an activity. But as the girl expressed her reluctance, Crampton suggested they walk together.
“It’s become a regular routine for young people and (Crampton) to take an hour’s walk once or twice a week,” a spokeswoman for the office reported. “The conversations were about life – hair, nails, clothes, etc. – and eventually extended to the youngster’s difficult family life.
“Prompted by the officer, (the daughter) began volunteering to help around the house more often to earn extra time away from home,” the office wrote. “When she successfully completed the supervision, the (girl’s) mother expressed both surprise and appreciation for the positive impact this effort has had.” Small steps indeed.
Crampton, a graduate of West Chester University who is currently studying for her master’s degree, has been named the county’s Juvenile Probation Officer of the Year, an award given annually in honor of the late George Bratcher, a long-time probation officer. date at the office.
“Over his five years with our department (Crampton) has demonstrated a strong skill set with particular strength in his ability to establish a professional alliance,” the office wrote in an assessment of his work. “With experience at (the county child welfare agency) and remembering her own time as a youngster, she is easily able to relate to many of the issues faced by our young people.
“Her communication and motivational interviewing skills enable her to effectively build collaborative working relationships,” the statement read. “She develops, rather than imposes, case plans in a collaborative way that encourages youth buy-in”
Last week, County Commissioners proclaimed Juvenile Justice Week and honored members of the system, like Crampton, in a ceremony in Courtroom 1 of the County Justice Center.
“In partnership with local law enforcement, community agencies, families and schools, juvenile justice personnel supervise juvenile offenders based on their individual level of risk to the community, the community, provides minors the opportunity to understand the harm they have caused and how they can make reparations for victims and develop collaborative plans to help minors become responsible and productive members of the community,” the commissioners said in their proclamation.
The ceremony was attended by the three county commissioners – Marian Moskowitz, Josh Maxwell and Michelle Kichline – as well as presiding judge John Hall, who oversees the juvenile court, and judges Louis Mincarelli and Allison Bell Royer. Chief Probation Office Don Corry chaired the event.
Also honored at the event, in addition to probation officers who had achieved a career milestone, were ex-offenders who had made their way through the system and were aware of the Good Youth citation.
A young person participated in a residential program because of her behavior and during her stay, she obtained numerous recognition awards within the framework of the program; her individual therapist praised her. The other, a young man, was placed in a residential program because of his behaviors. He excelled in the program and achieved a successful discharge in just three months. He is independent and works with a housing program. He is about to graduate this school year, but was unable to attend the ceremony for a good reason: orientation and training for a new job.
To contact editor Michael P. Rellahan, call 610-696-1544.