Carson City Juvenile Probation chief Bianchi retires
Carson City Juvenile Probation Services will see a change in leadership in the new year with the retirement of current Chief Ben Bianchi.
Bianchi, who has been with Carson for more than 25 years, will retire after serving more than two decades with Juvenile Services.
“It is very exciting (to retire) after 25 and a half years,” Bianchi said. “I started here looking for a job and I found a career and I am so thankful and blessed to work in the juvenile justice field with the youths and families. It has been very rewarding.”
Bianchi started with Juvenile Probation Services in 1991 as a youth counselor in the detention center. From there he climbed the ranks becoming a Juvenile Probation Officer, Deputy Chief and finally as Chief of Juvenile Services in 2013.
“I stumbled into this profession and I am so thankful for that,” Bianchi said. “It was all thanks to my brother and guardian angel Ron Wood for getting me into this career. I have just loved it and am so glad I got to work and learn from some really wonderful people.
“I want my appreciation to be out there because I never thought that I would finish out my career as chief.”
And taking his spot is Bianchi’s right-hand woman Ali Banister. Banister is the current deputy chief of Juvenile Services.
“I am so excited to get to pass the chief torch to Ali, she is a remarkable, capable, passionate and talented juvenile justice leader,” Bianchi said.
Banister has a bachelor’s in Psychology, a master’s in Justice Management and is currently working on her PhD for Public Policy. Banister has been in the juvenile justice field for about 10 years, starting her career in Fallon as a Juvenile Probation Officer and serving as the Deputy Chief of Juvenile Services for the past four years. Banister was Bianchi’s first hire with Juvenile Services when he started as Chief.
“I feel honored and lucky to continue to be a part of this team and help serve the youth and families in this community,” Banister said.
As chief, Banister will oversee both the detention and probation divisions within Juvenile Services. In her new position, she hopes to continue building the youth programs started in the last few years.
“In the last few years with Ben, we have expanded on community based programming and we want to continue to expand that for the kids,” Banister said. “By doing this we hope to keep the kids in the community and out of the detention center.”
She also hopes to continue to build upon community relationships in order to better help the kids in the community.
“I am a big advocate for programming and developing those relationships with other agencies so we have been reaching out to agencies like the Sheriff’s Office, Carson City Community Counseling, Carson City Behavioral Health Services and others,” Banister said. “It has been really good for us and it is important to the community that we all work together.”
“I am excited to continue to make a difference in the community with kids because I truly think you can make a difference in kids’ lives. It is pretty special when you can get to this level and can build and implement programs with our team at juvenile services.”
Serving as chief is a family tradition for Banister. She will be a third generation person to hold the position. Banister’s mother, Shelia Banister was a chief with Carson, as well as her grandfather, Dan Murphy, who was chief and juvenile court master in his time with Juvenile Services. Murphy also was one half of the duo to create the Murphy-Benardini Regional Juvenile Detention Center.
“It really is an honor to continue my family tradition, and it is something I always wanted to do,” Banister said. “I hope I can fill in their shoes because my family did a lot of great things for this department while they were here.”
Bianchi said he has the upmost faith in Banister to continue to do great things with the department.
“I really do believe we have the best Juvenile Services Department in the state and I am confident Ali will take this to new levels,” Bianchi said.
Banister will be sworn in as the new Chief of Juvenile Services on Jan. 3. The position is an appointed position, chosen by the Carson City District Court judges.