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By Jamison Hooks staff writer

Morgan County schools are now collaborating with the Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) in School Based Supervision (SBS) in order to monitor youths’ behavior and academic progress.

Juvenile Probation Parole Specialist Mary Nunn will work in collaboration with Morgan County Schools in order to reduce truancy, suspensions, and any other expulsions. Nunn’s role as a Juvenile Probation Parole Specialist is to work hand in hand with students and their teachers in efforts to get students on the right track.

“This means I will be present in the schools and keeping in close touch with teachers,” said Nunn. “If there are any parent teacher conferences, I will be present at those meeting as well.”

In addition to attending any student support meetings, Nunn will facilitate re-entry for youth who are returning to school from placements or secure facilities.

“This is a good way for students to know someone is there for them and creates a good relationship between officers and the students,” said Program Manager Angie Sims.

On average, DJJ serves about seven youth per school and Nunn will work with eight students in Morgan County.

The strategies that SBS aims to utilize include more contact between officers and youth, better monitoring, school success, group conferencing, and mentoring.

During the 2013-2014 school year, DJJ served a total of 96 schools and had 64 school based officers.

DJJ diverted at least 669 youth from entering the juvenile justice system and decreased their dropout rate by 26 percent.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for our schools and we’re very excited to provide our students with this type of support,” said Assistant Superintendent Sarah Burbach.

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