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The National Research Council of the Committee on Law and Justice recently called for a translation of adolescent brain and developmental science into effective programs within the juvenile justice setting. In response to this call to praxis, Pierce County has partnered with the Annie E. Casey Foundation to develop and implement the Opportunity-Based Probation (OBP) program. OBP expands on adolescent development research by leveraging adolescents’ drive towards independence as well as their heightened receptivity to rewards. In collaboration with their probation officers, youth create meaningful goals and incentives that reward the development of prosocial behavior. Probation officers scaffold prosocial behavior by reinforcing success and constructively addressing probation violations and problem behaviors. Pierce County has partnered with the SAJE team, led by Dr. Sarah Walker, to facilitate the implementation of OBP through a dual-phase design. This first phase is an “acceptability” pilot phase, where SAJE will assess the preliminary effectiveness of OBP and provide improvement recommendations. The second phase is a stepped implementation phase over the course of 3 years where SAJE will conduct an experimental outcomes analysis.



Funding for this research is provided by the Annie E. Casey Foundation.

Relevant Publications

OBP Overview (PowerPoint)