The Red River Valley Juvenile Center transition program will move under Tri-County Probation following this week’s regional corrections board meeting at the Polk County Justice Center.  The moved was predicated by the low numbers recently in the juvenile program and the continued opening of an associate probation agent position said Executive Director Andrew Larson.  “Through the recidivism reduction grant there has been a lot of internal movement within our department,” said Larson.  “This has resulted in us operating without an associate level position for the last two to three months.  While that’s been going on our transition program which targets at-risk juveniles to avoid out of home placements have been down significantly beginning with a steady decline two or three years ago.”

The transition program, with two staff, will take over some of the workload vacated by the open associate agent position.  Larson expects the change to have a positive impact.  “It will ensure some longevity for the employees in the transition program,” said Larson.  “As our numbers have dropped it will give us a lot of flexibility managing the population in the program and when the numbers drop as they have right now they will be able to provide some pretty significant help in our probation department with our low-risk cases.  One of the biggest benefits will be some cost savings for our organization.”

The transition program is currently operating at just over 50 percent of capacity with 14 current cases.  Probation meanwhile had 531 high-risk cases and 244 low-risk cases in February 2019.