David Muhammad on Reinventing Juvenile Probation
The Casey Foundation’s Lisa Hamilton recently spoke with Muhammad about juvenile probation. Their conversation explores why the current approach is broken, why involving families in the solution is essential and what young people really need to thrive.
In just one year, more than 380,000 young people were put on probation — either formally or informally, according to a 2018 report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation.
It’s a statistic that David Muhammad is dedicated to changing.
A criminal justice and youth development expert, Muhammad currently serves as executive director of the National Institute for Criminal Justice Reform. Prior to joining the nonprofit, he worked as the chief probation officer of the Alameda County Probation Department in California, the deputy commissioner of New York City’s Department of Probation, and the chief of committed services for Washington DC’s Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services.
Otherwise put: Muhammad has seen — on repeat — how juvenile probation plays out in the real world. And he’s far from impressed.