The Juvenile Justice Information Exchange spends a day with Georgia juvenile probation officer Ronaldi Rollins, who the story says is “in charge of 20 struggling teens.” To visit Rollins, a kid must make it past two levels of security. First, the metal detector and officer at the front door, and then a thick fiberglass window and receptionist at the third floor waiting room. Just about every door, with the exception of the restrooms, requires a four-digit code to pass.
Probationers showing up unannounced may have a hard time finding Rollins behind his desk. “A big part of my job is mentoring,” he says. The best way to be a mentor is to relate to the kids on common ground — the front yards, street corners, vacant lots, and schoolyards of this suburban Atlanta community they all call home. Rollins is tasked with overseeing the Clayton County Virtual Alternative School, and that means keeping up with kids from one end of the county to the other.