I am recent resident of your ward and a long time employee of Cook County. I have been blessed to work with the children and families of the Cook County Juvenile Court for the past Eleven years as a member of the Clinical Interventions Division. It is in this capacity that I am writing to you and asking for a meeting to discuss my concerns regarding the 2012 budget. In short, I am deeply concerned that vital services will be cut from the our program in the name of austerity.
Cook County Juvenile Probation provides a vital role in taking at-risk youth and transforming them into productive members of society. We save the county and state resource by providing these services in the family’s home, rather than in the Department of Juvenile Justice. We empower parents so they can keep their children safe. We keep communities safe by watching our clients. We work with our local schools to ensure that our clients have a chance to better themselves.
Cuts to our budget directly impact the amount of the services we provide to the families of Cook County. We will lose mental health service, sex offender treatment and supervision programs, and youth input programs (currently a trend in Juvenile Justice and pioneered in Cook County) if our funding is cut.
I would welcome an opportunity to discuss these concerns with you, as well as to generate additional ideas on how to balance the budget.
Cook County Juvenile Probation Officer
Clinical Interventions Division
JSO Unit/Juvenile Advisory Council Co-Chair.