FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Springfield Municipal Court probation officer Jody Austin recognized by Governor Eric Greitens for her commitment to helping juveniles
Jody Austin, a probation officer at the Springfield Municipal Court, has been appointed by Governor Eric Greitens to the Missouri Juvenile Justice Advisory Group (MJJAG).
The mission of the MJJAG is to provide leadership and education to Missourians in the area of juvenile justice and ensuring the safety and well being of all youth, their families, and communities.
“The City of Springfield is proud that the Governor has selected Jody to serve on the Missouri Juvenile Justice Advisory Group. Her work experience aligns well with the group’s mission and makes her a logical choice for this position. I know she will be a great addition to the group,” said City Manager Greg Burris.
Austin’s body of work includes not only her years as a juvenile officer, then City of Springfield probation officer, but also her weekly service for 18 years with Greene County Mental Health Court. “She brings great depth of experience in justice as well as mental health to this appointment,” said Carol Thompson, Licensed Clinical Social Worker with Greene County Treatment Courts.
Commissioner Peggy Davis, of the Missouri 31st Judicial Circuit Court, echoes praise about Austin. Davis presides over Greene County’s DWI Court, Adult Drug Court, Mental Health Court and Intensive Supervision Court.
“Mrs. Austin has been with the Treatment Court programs for more than 16 years; before that, she and my Administrator worked together for five years at the Greene County Juvenile Justice Center,” Davis said.
“The Missouri Juvenile Justice Advisory Group endorses ‘prevention, treatment and the use of appropriate interventions’ that help all youth achieve their full potential within a system that balances justice for all juveniles with protection of all Missourians. Mrs. Austin has an understanding of the complex issues that the justice involved population presents to our community and works every day to achieve that balance between meeting the needs of those individuals under her supervision and the safety of the community. She is well qualified to sit on the MJJAG Board.”
Police Chief Paul Williams said he is “excited to see Jody asked to put her expertise to use statewide in the area of Juvenile Justice. Her knowledge of the juvenile system and passion for helping those in need make her a perfect fit.”
Austin is one of 30 women appointed by the Governor to leadership positions on a number of the state’s boards and commissions. These appointments follow First Lady Sheena Greitens’ announcement on Oct. 3 that the administration would appoint 25 women in the subsequent 25 days, in honor of the 25th anniversary of the Women’s Foundation.
Austin graduated from Drury University with bachelors’ degrees in sociology and criminology. In 2014, she received the Liberty Bell Award from the Springfield Metropolitan Bar Association.
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For more information, contact Cora Scott, Director of Public Information & Civic Engagement, at 417-380-3352 or [email protected].