Heidi Meier, veteran juvenile parole and probation officer working out of the Pendleton office, was recognized Thursday for exemplary service to the Oregon Youth Authority and the youth the agency serves.

Meier received one of the state juvenile corrections agency's "coin awards," a silver dollar-size medal bearing the state seal and given to employees for excellence in reflecting agency values. Meier works with youth offenders in Umatilla and Morrow counties.

Her supervisor, Ed Pierson, said one of Meier's greatest strengths is effective communication with youth and their families, including helping them understand the expectations of community supervision and clarifying issues as they arise. She is liaison to Homestead Youth Lodge, helps resolve youths' behavioral issues and is flexible about responding to the work that needs to be done, Pierson said.

Meier is among several OYA staff members being recognized statewide as part of Probation, Parole and Community Supervision Week, July 18-24. Governor Ted Kulongoski said in his proclamation, "Community corrections professionals uphold the law with dignity, model positive behavior for offenders and dedicate themselves to the public's right to be protected from criminal activity."

"Heidi Meyer and other OYA professionals offer compassion and demand accountability that helps former offenders find the promise of productive, crime-free lives," said OYA Director Colette S. Peters. "They play an important role in minimizing the number of OYA youth who reoffend."

Effective community supervision by juvenile parole and probation officers helps the agency fulfill its mission to protect the public and reduce crime by holding youth accountable and providing opportunities for reformation in safe environments.

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