Susan L. Blackburn retires from JCJC

After four decades of service to the Pennsylvania juvenile justice system, Susan “Susi” Blackburn retired from the Juvenile Court Judges’ Commission on January 3, 2019. Susi began her career as a juvenile probation officer with Somerset County Probation and Youth Services in 1979. From 1990-1994 she served as the Assistant Chief and in 1994 she was named Chief Juvenile Probation Officer. In 1998, after working 19 years in Somerset County, Susi joined the staff of the Juvenile Court Judges’ Commission as the statewide Balanced and Restorative Justice (BARJ) Specialist. Susi’s passion for BARJ made her the perfect person for the job, and her enthusiasm and advocacy for restorative justice has never waned. Anyone who has ever met Susi knows her energy is infectious. Susi’s knowledge and insights regarding BARJ, restorative practices, and victim services within a juvenile justice context are unparalleled. Throughout her career, Susi’s expertise was a benefit to her colleagues, and to external stakeholders at the county, state, national, and international levels. Her accomplishments during her tenure are too extensive to list, from the composition of white papers and other research publications, development and presentation of training curricula, committee contributions, and outstanding consultation and technical assistance - Susi brought a passion and enthusiasm to her work that is indescribable. She is adored by her colleagues, has cultivated countless relationships throughout her career, and is consistently held in high regard. As recognition for her unwavering commitment and dedication to restorative justice, in 2015 at the James E. Anderson Pennsylvania Conference on Juvenile Justice, Susi was presented with the Dennis M. Maloney Award. Since its establishment in 1997, the award has only been presented three times, with Susi being the third and most recent recipient. While many people may slowly pull back and ease into retirement, that was not Susi’s style. Even up to her last day, she worked tirelessly to see several large projects to completion. Susi has undoubtedly earned her retirement after decades of tireless service to the youth, families, victims, and stakeholders of juvenile justice, but our system will miss one of its most prolific practitioners. Congratulations, Susi