JUVENILE in JUSTICE: GUESTPOST


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[GUEST POST]: Robert Wright from Cook County’s Juvenile Advisory Council

Today Juvenile In Justice is lucky enough to hear from Robert Wright, a youth representative on Cook County’s Juvenile Advisory Council, to learn about what former probationers and probation officers are doing together to improve outcomes for youth in Cook County, Illinois.

J.A.C., or the Juvenile Advisory Council, is the voice of Chicago’s youth. This program has given young people the ability to help others through leadership, such as running orientation programs for those people who have been placed on probation. The council was established in 2003 by Steve Eiseman, a Deputy Chief Probation Officer at the Cook County Juvenile Court. J.A.C. is made up of youth representatives, who have been on probation themselves, and probation officers. These orientations educate young people about the probation conditions they have been given in our county. Another key focus is stressing the importance of completing their probation.

We share our experiences with other youth because
they are more likely to listen to someone who has been in their shoes.

Cook County Juvenile Center: Where the J.A.C. is trying to prevent kids from going.

Cook County Juvenile Center: Where the J.A.C. is trying to prevent kids from going.

Youth receive many advantages from this program. At our orientations, J.A.C. youth representatives believe they can reach youth because they understand what it’s like being on probation. It helps them complete their probation successfully. We share our experiences with other youth because they are more likely to listen to someone who has been in their shoes. Another perk of our program is that we are a gateway to rehabilitation. When I say “gateway to rehabilitation,” I am talking about our programs for youth struggling with completing probation. Youth reps talk about our own struggles on probation, and the programs we used to help get us back on track. For instance, our most common problem with our youth is clean drug testing. We have drug rehabilitation programs that can assist them in staying clean permanently and help connect struggling youth to these programs. J.A.C is not a scared straight program. It is an informative and beneficial program for the youth of our county.

For more information about J.A.C contact me (robertwright12794@gmail.com), or my supervisor, P.O. Martin Gleason (martin.gleason@cookcountyil.gov).

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
My name is Robert Wright, but you can call me Poncho. Not long ago I was a CVL (Conservative Vice Lord) from Chicago’s West side. I was in the streets gang banging very heavily now I am changing my life around. I feel like it is the best decision I have ever made.

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