September 10, 2012

Multnomah County juvenile probation officers are making sure that young men and women in trouble with the law return to class when school resumes this month.

On Tuesday Aug. 28, the county’s Department of Community Justice (DCJ) sponsored a Back-to-School Night for young people on juvenile probation. Also invited were the young people’s families.

About 233 students and their family members participated in the event – about twice the size expected as based on previous years. Connie Emerson, Juvenile Counselor, who helped organize the event took it all in stride, “It was so wonderful to see families and youth participate in this very positive event. Everyone was so cooperative, it made the night easy to manage. Most important is that families were fed and received helpful information about schools, about the importance of education, and about advocating for your child.”

In addition to getting information at Back-to-School Night about how to earn graduation credits, young people also received school supplies and had their questions answered about everything from alternative programs to attendance.

An estimated 75 percent of the young people invited to attend the event had previous gang involvement or are gang affected, making it especially important to re-connect these at-risk young men and women to school.

“With many young people on juvenile probation facing questions about what they need to catch up in school, this Back-to-School night helps them learn what they need to do to graduate,” said DCJ juvenile services director Christina McMahan.

Slideshow of event photos