Placer County Probation Officer named Sacramento Regional Employee of the Year


From Gold Country Media.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — December 21, 2023 – A Placer County deputy probation officer received national recognition for his work in more than 45 cases regarding the homeless, according to a Chief Probation Officers of California (CPOC) press release.

Placer County Probation Outreach Team member Deputy Probation Officer James Corry has worked in probation since 2016 and for Placer County for 17 years. Through 2023, Corry has engaged with the homeless, coordinated cleanup efforts, distributed water and has even saved lives through his kindness.

His [Corry's] goal in interacting with homeless people is “trying to get people who are hiding from themselves and trauma and drug addiction, et cetera, to kind of realize that they can do it. They just need a little bit of assistance and move forward in a positive way.”

Corry attributes his success to his consistency with individuals to help them understand the resources available to them. He also said there is a curiosity aspect to the way he approaches homeless individuals since, “I’ve never been homeless.”

He often comes from a place of “trying to understand them and their perspective and learn from them.”

“I don’t think everybody you see in a camp is a lost cause. There’s potential to make them productive members of society and by all means, I want them to be taxpaying citizens,” Corry said. “I want them to be productive. You just got to go out there and change them. So, keep your perspective open. Don’t close your mind.

In Corry’s experience, many homeless individuals are “afraid” to change their situation for numerous reasons.

“There’s people who, with their first response (to law enforcement), will say, ‘I don’t want the help.’ But, as you establish consistency and a level of rapport, they’ll know that they can trust you,” Corry said. “They have preconceived notions of law enforcement that they don’t want to help them, that all they want to do is cite them, arrest them, take them to jail, whatever. There’s also people that have very acute mental health that gets in the way. There’s people that have acute drug addiction. There’s people that have a ton of undiagnosed trauma, and they’re just basically hiding from themselves and they’re not able to navigate that because it has a ton of anxiety behind it.”

It’s because of their trauma, Corry says, that homeless individuals tend to find it “easier to stay wallowing in misery and just continue that lifestyle because it’s all they know.”

Corry’s kindness has resonated with the people he has helped, including a woman he watched strive to change her situation.


“I caught them at a really low point in their life and there had been enough relationship built to where there was a level of trust to where I was able to facilitate helping her and next thing you know, we’re reuniting with family, we’re offering adult wrap-around services through Prop. 47, and that person has now been sober for over a year, still doing exceptionally well with their family, constantly striving. More so, they have their own business license, they have their own little business and they’re pushing themselves further and further, and I don’t know where they’re going to stop. I don’t think it’s going to be anytime soon.”

That woman described Corry as her “guardian angel,” according to the CPOC press release.

“He showed up and he knew that I needed help, and he knew what to do. He is the reason I am back with my family. There are no words to explain how much he has done for me,” the woman said.

According to Corry, the woman gave back by providing him with his own guardian angel, despite him saying he didn’t need one. He carries around a coin she gave him, which depicts a guardian angel.

“I can’t do this alone,” Corry said. “This is a team within this county.”

Corry is “never” one to take complete credit, he said, for the successes of homeless individuals. He attributes the success to the teamwork of local law enforcement agencies such as the Placer County Probation Department, Lincoln PD, Rocklin PD, Roseville PD and Placer County Sheriff’s Office…

“We work collaboratively because we all have a different set of skills, we all have a different mission statement, and we overlap when we have commonalities in our mission statements,” Corry said. “When we come together, we’re able to get a lot more done because not one of these entities can do it by themselves. We have to do it all together.”

He also attributes individuals’ success to the individuals themselves. Even when they thank him, he tells them,

“You made a choice. You made a choice to invest in yourself. You made a choice to do things different, and you made a choice to stop hiding.”

Read the full article here.