New York City is changing up the way probation is handled through the implementation of new Probation Resource Hubs throughout the city.
Probation Resources Hubs provides probations with positive resources that are designed to help probationers turn their lives around and cease committing crimes. And the waiting rooms are the first stop in this positive experience, with their bright colors and inspiration artwork. Other resources include computers that are free to use to look for jobs, and a television airing educational information plays throughout the day.
There are about 27,000 offenders in New York City who are on probation.
Working Toward Building Better Lives
The Probation Resources Hubs, says a NYC probation officer, is not about scolding, but instead about helping individuals move on and make a better life for themselves. This softer and more welcoming image has been met with praise, both by probationers and the Correctional Association of New York, who hopes this new type of probation office environment will be used as inspiration for other probation offices across the state.
The Correctional Association of New York also hopes that probation officers get in on the act of a softer image and become more of a positive influence in probationers’ lives.
Probation Resources Hubs are designed to be community-based, client-centered, and attractive. It is through these welcoming hubs that probation officials and organizations are hoping will result in a decline in the number of probation violations and repeat offenders.
A New Face on a Harsh System
For example, South Bronx’s Neighborhood Opportunity Network, which is located in one of the highest areas of crime in the city, provides everything from job networking events to on-site health screenings. It’s certainly a departure from standard, inner-city probation centers, and that’s the point.
Designers associated with these new hubs say that it’s all about engaging clients productively so that they become part of their own rehabilitative process. There are even weekly poetry workshops being offered, which probation officers see as providing individuals means with which to engage in “peaceful, effective communication.”