The Sonoma County Probation Department strives to achieve justice and enhance public safety in our community by making a positive difference in the lives of victims, justice system involved youth and adults, and their families. We can be successful only when we cultivate meaningful and effective relationships with the community and justice system partners.
Probation Department representatives sit on high-level county task forces and workgroups to help craft policies that support the work of our employees and community partners, and develop programs that help our clients to be successful with their rehabilitation.
The Probation Department serves as the neutral arm of Court. In this role, we work with defense attorneys and prosecutors to complete comprehensive pre-sentence investigations and reports, which provide the Court with the information necessary to set appropriate sentences in criminal cases. Periodic reports summarizing our clients’ compliance with court-ordered conditions and progress addressing supervision goals are also provided to the Court.
We partner with other county agencies, such as the Behavioral Health Division of the Department of Health Services, the Community Development Commission, Sonoma County Office of Education, and the Human Services Department to develop strategies to address issues of mental illness, homelessness, educational deficits, parenting issues, and joblessness in the populations we supervise. This is particularly evident at our Day Reporting Center, where staff from other agencies are embedded in our operations.
Probation works closely with local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies to increase public safety through the supervision of high-risk offenders. This includes assigning Deputy Probation Officers to taskforces that focus on high-risk groups and types of crime with high-incidence in our county. We also work closely with the Sheriff’s Office and California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation on re-entry strategies from the jail and state prison into community supervision.
Probation supervision involves intensive case management, which includes referrals to agencies that provide services to help reduce recidivism. These services include, for example, vocational and employment services, drug and mental health treatment, education, parenting classes, and counseling for domestic violence. We are grateful for the community-based organizations that partner with us to offer these services, some of which they provide in our Day Reporting Center, as well as Juvenile Hall and Probation Camp.
For youth, the partnerships start at the stage of prevention for low risk offenders who need to be connected to community-based organizations. These agencies provide services to address factors such as impulsive behavior, family dysfunction, drug use, and anger or violence. These partnerships continue if a youth enters the juvenile justice system. Probation Officers work with families, educators, counselors, drug and mental health treatment providers, and group home staff to assist youth with interventions that promote positive behavior change.
The Department relies on our strong collaborative partnerships to provide effective services that change lives and protect the community.