Robert Williams began his career in the Berks County Juvenile Probation Department in 1981. He served as a line officer, intensive probation/aftercare officer and intake officer, before being promoted to the position of Assistant Chief Probation Officer in 1995. He was appointed to the position of Chief Juvenile Probation Officer in 2005.
Bob graduated from West Chester State College in 1980 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice and also received a certificate in criminal law from the Philadelphia Institute of Paralegal Training in 1980. Bob is currently pursuing his Masters Degree in Public Administration from Kutztown University.
He has been an active member of the Pennsylvania Council of Chief Juvenile Probation Officers, having served as Chair of the Ethics Committee and Co-Chair of the Balanced and Restorative Justice Implementation Committee. He has been a member of the Executive Committee since 2005 and was recently nominated to serve as Vice-President of the statewide organization.
Mr. Williams was appointed by our two most recent governors to serve on statewide advisory groups. He was appointed by Governor Rendell to serve on Pennsylvania's State Council for Interstate Juvenile Supervision in 2008 and was appointed by Governor Corbett to serve as a member of the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Committee (JJDPC) of the Pennsylvania Commission of Crime and Delinquency this year. He was also invited to testify before the Interbranch Commission on Juvenile Justice in 2010.
Bob is well known for his passionate advocacy for evidence-based practices. He believes that we can and must, "do better" for the children, families and communities we serve. Through his leadership, the Berks County Juvenile Probation Department has developed a reputation for excellence and serves as a model for other juvenile probation departments. His department was the first in the state to open an Evening Reporting Center and implement a detention assessment instrument to seek alternatives to secure detention while protecting the community. He serves as a member of Pennsylvania's Juvenile Justice System Enhancement Strategy (JJSES) Leadership Team.
A recent example of Bob's leadership came when he volunteered to partner with the Juvenile Court Judges' Commission and the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency to serve as an "implementation site" for the Juvenile Justice System Improvement Project (JJSIP) supported by the Center for Juvenile Justice Reform at Georgetown University. The JJSIP is designed to assist states with improving outcomes for juvenile offenders by translating existing research on evidence-based practices into policy and practice - an approach very consistent with Pennsylvania's Juvenile Justice System Enhancement Strategy. Pennsylvania will be taking "lessons learned" from Berks County's involvement in the initiative, with an eye toward statewide implementation of best practices.
Credit: Juvenile Court Judges' Commission and PA Council of Chief Juvenile Probation Officers 31st Annual Awards Program