Before I joined the NYC Department of Probation (DOP) in February 2010, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg told me that reducing crime requires smart and aggressive law enforcement, but we also need to ensure that people who have been arrested and sentenced to probation don’t get into trouble again.
My staff and I took Mayor Bloomberg’s words to heart, and I’m proud to report that DOP is doing more than ever to keep New York City safe by helping people on probation connect to school, work, health services, family members, and their community. Providing our clients with a path out of the criminal justice system is only part of the job—we also identify and build on their strengths so they can become active and productive members of their community.
What does that mean in real terms? It means that we are connecting more probation clients to jobs. We are organizing resource fairs where probation clients meet with representatives from a wide array of non-profit organizations. We are providing young probation clients who were arrested on graffiti charges with chances to express themselves legally. And we are doing all of this and much more in partnership with other government agencies, community organizations, and everyday New Yorkers from all five boroughs.
But we have much more work ahead of us. Our vision for the future includes five key objectives:
This vision—which we are calling the “New York City Model of Probation”—embodies the innovative thinking, cooperation, optimism, and mutual respect that make our City great. Together, we can establish the City’s model as the world’s gold standard.
- Continue developing a citywide network of opportunities, resources, and services that builds on the strengths of people on probation and reduces their involvement with the criminal justice system
- Match individuals to appropriate probation services based on their needs, interests, and risk to public safety
- Reward people under supervision with incentives when they do right by themselves and their communities
- Expand services for court-involved youth and adults located in the same communities where they live, when appropriate
- Empower staff by integrating them into decision-making processes, recognizing their achievements, rewarding positive changes, and providing the information and training they need to implement our ambitious priorities
- Commissioner Vincent Schiraldi