Last week a kid glued his mother’s refrigerator closed because he was mad at her.
I love teenagers.
I love my job.
I am a brand-spanking-new juvenile probation officer, which means you will likely never hear about intimate details of my life to protect my anonymity and the anonymity of the teenagers that I work with. You will also walk through my first failures and my first successes in my career. Most importantly, you will hear about the ridiculous stories that I encounter on a daily basis.
To clarify, my job is not about punishment. Juvenile Probation, by statute, is rehabilitation first and then further legal action, if necessary. I get this insanely cool opportunity to be an advocate for kids every day of my life, and I get to have the Superior Court’s back while I do this to the best of my ability. I have powerful tools: resources, behavioral health community partners, attorneys, judges, parents/guardians, teachers, principals, counselors, intensive outpatient treatment, a detention center, and so many more. There are failure stories, there are apathetic/tired/confused/hopeless/limited parents, and there is an abundance of pain. Yet there is hope, resilience that surpasses comprehension, parents and guardians that are still fighting, second chances, and successes.
This job can be isolating at times. It makes some people uncomfortable that I would be doing this as female, particularly my family members and some friends. Additionally, Not many people are interested in hearing the going-ons of “criminals”. Sometimes people assume that probation just involves catching kids when they break the law, instead of a job where I walk alongside kids for years as they fight for their futures. They did the crime so should serve the time, right?
This blog is for me to have a space to word-vomit, mourn, celebrate, and laugh at the unpredictable, stimulating, and perplexing situations of my daily work grind. Thanks for reading, or thanks for not.