Enhancing Juvenile Probation through Graduated Response Implementation

The Challenge

In most jurisdictions, youth on probation must comply with boilerplate conditions that do not take into account their developmental capacity, despite research demonstrating the importance of treating young people in developmentally appropriate ways. Graduated Response is a research-based approach to probation case management developed by Stoneleigh Fellow Naomi Goldstein in partnership with Philadelphia’s Juvenile Probation Department. It uses an incremental range of responses—including short-term positive reinforcement, incentives, constructive feedback, and sanctions—to encourage youth to comply with the terms of their probation. While Graduated Response is a clear priority in Pennsylvania (PA), many counties are finding it challenging to develop and implement.

The Project

Through this Emerging Leader Fellowship, Leah Brogan is working with the Juvenile Justice Research and Reform Lab, PA Juvenile Court Judges Commission, and PA Council of Chief Juvenile Probation Officers to establish a technical assistance (TA) mentorship team model to expand Graduated Response implementation statewide. Teams will support PA counties at various stages of their Graduated Response systems’ development and implementation.

Specifically, this Fellowship is enabling Leah to:

  • Establish and oversee a mentorship and coaching model to assist counties in translating Graduated Response theory into practice.
  • Engage in statewide juvenile probation transformation efforts by serving as a coordinator of and content expert on mentorship teams and creating an evaluation infrastructure.

Leah Brogan, PhD

Emerging Leader Fellow


Juvenile Justice Research and Reform Lab, Drexel University

Current Position

Clinical Psychologist
Department of Psychiatry, Cooper University Hospital


Project Updates