California’s Historic Juvenile Justice Evolution
Led by Chief Probation Officers, California has seen a historic shift in how we serve youth referred to our justice system.
Authored by Chief Stephanie James and Chief Allen Nance
California should be proud of the evolution and success in our juvenile justice over the last decade. Led by Chief Probation Officers, along with the state and community-based agencies, California has seen a historic shift in how we serve youth referred to our justice system. California has reduced usage of our local detention facilities by 60% and successfully serve 90% of youth in the juvenile justice system within our communities.
Probation is a unique bridge between the community and justice with many different stories to share.
Rosemarie Salazar was on probation in San Bernardino County as a youth. Years later she still remembers the Group Counselors, now known as Probation Officers whose mentorship helped get her life back on track. Probation is a unique bridge that connects high needs youth with the trained experts in probation to help individuals like Rosemarie get the skills they need to build a bridge back to the community and live healthy and positive lives.
Key Findings in New California Department of Justice Report: Crime Rates are Down, and Number of Adults on Probation at a Thirty-Year Low
Sacramento, CA, July 5, 2019 – The California Attorney General Criminal Department of Justice Statistics Center released a report—Crime in California—that shows noteworthy progress has been made in California in regards to probation. The number of adult and juvenile arrest numbers in 2018 has significantly decreased and are at all-time lows. The report also points out that the overall crime rates throughout the state have decreased.
ICYMI: Riverside Probation: The Inspire Project
Research indicates the quality of the officer-client relationship is one of the largest predictors to success
Probation embraces a human service approach toward supervision while focusing on components associated with an effective reduction in recidivism.
The Inspire Project at the Riverside County Probation Department is designed to shine a positive light on clients who successfully terminate probation and have positively addressed rehabilitation goals. Inspire Project clients are those that while on probation, have completely changed their way of life and have consistently maintained a healthier lifestyle. This project also recognizes staff who are investing in them.
California Stands Out with Prison Revocation Reforms that Lead to Better Outcomes According to New National Report
The Council of State Governments (CSG) Justice Center released a national report—which shows significant progress has been made in California on the number of offenders returning to prison while on probation supervision. The report points out that the State of California stands above the rest with rates lower than the nationwide average.
At age 11, San Rafael resident Tylor Bruns started drinking. A year later he started taking pills. By age 20, Bruns was regularly shooting heroin.
“The only time I was able to stop using was when I was in handcuffs,” said Bruns, 26, one of 14 probationers honored Wednesday at the Civic Center in San Rafael and inducted into the probation department’s Wall of Change.
Juvenile Justice Realignment (SB 81) passed in 2007 in California and helped transform the juvenile justice system in California. This evolution has led to significant increases in the use of evidence-based practices, a dramatic reduction in juvenile arrest rates, juvenile detention rates and an increase in prevention and intervention programs. Watch this video to see how probation has helped lead the change in the juvenile justice field and rose to the challenge to make juvenile justice realignment a success.
From The Union Democrat
The Mother Lode Regional Juvenile Detention Facility received a glowing review from the 2018-19 Tuolumne County Civil Grand Jury in a new report.
The jury didn’t have anything negative to say about $20 million facility that started housing incarcerated youth in April 2017. According to the 10-page report, recidivism among young offenders in the county has dropped from 49 percent to 19 percent since the hall opened.
New PPIC Study Shows Encouraging Progress in Reduction of Recidivism Rates Study Indicates Success with California’s Historic Reforms and Realignment
Sacramento, CA, June 20, 2019 – A new PPIC report released today has reported a decline in recidivism rates since California has taken on the most significant justice system reforms in history with the implementation of prison realignment and sentencing reforms.
When one 16-year-old Napa girl was arrested last year for stealing a car, staying in juvenile hall and being put on probation seemed like the worst thing that could happen. It made her angry – so angry. But then, she said, it actually ended up helping her.
ICYMI: Sacramento County Probation Creates First-of-its-Kind Program for Youth
Sacramento Probation's multi-sensory de-escalation room increases safety for youth
Sacramento County’s multi-sensory de-escalation room is the first of its kind in a juvenile detention facility in the United States. This innovation creates a safe, trauma-informed environment that allows residents to de-escalate without use of force or an isolation room, which helps prevent violence and increases safety. This program is a 2018 California Association of Counties (CSAC) Challenge Award-winning program. CSAC Challenge Awards spotlight the most innovative programs in California Counties.
SACRAMENTO – Today, Chief Stephanie James, President of the Chief Probation Officers of California (CPOC), issued the following statement in response to the recent vote by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors:
From the Salinas Californian
Not many women restart their career in their 40s, but Monterey County Chief Probation Officer Marcia Parsons did. And to her, it really wasn’t a big deal.
Parsons worked in her early 20s as a probation officer but left to be a stay-at-home mom when she got pregnant with her daughter, Julie Lavorato.
The San Diego County Taxpayers Association awarded its Regional Golden Watchdog Award to the County of San Diego for a program credited with reducing the youth arrest rate in San Diego to the lowest level in nearly a decade.
Probation has a proven track record of actively engaging in diversion and successfully working with youth to keep them from entering the justice system or from further involvement in the justice system. As evidenced by the precipitous decline in juvenile arrest rates and juvenile detention rates, as well as the matching decline of youth under probation supervision, probation departments throughout California are choosing to engage and serve youth proactively in the community – successfully diverting thousands of youth out of the juvenile justice system.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT…
As the only juvenile court judge in Marin County, Judge Beverly Wood shared her firsthand experience of the transformation and evidence-based focus of probation when working with juveniles. Her piece appeared in the Marin Independent Journal.
By Judge Beverly Wood
From the Marin Independent Journal
We all have seen many recent headlines about declining juvenile crime, ending juvenile detention, and re-fashioning the juvenile justice system. Those calls to action may be well-intentioned, but they don’t reflect a full understanding of what is involved in maintaining a successful system to serve and protect both our youth and our communities.
Probation in California has helped lead an evolution of our Juvenile Justice system that has resulted in a historic shift in how we serve youth. California has reduced usage of our local detention facilities by 60% and successfully serve 90% of youth in the juvenile justice system within our communities. That is because Probation is dedicated to finding pathways for youth to thrive in a safe and healthy community.
Transforming California’s Local Juvenile Facilities to Sustain Rehabilitative Success
THE SUSTAINABLE REHABILITATION FOR YOUTH ACT
In the last decade, California probation departments have had tremendous success in lowering juvenile detention rates by 60 percent and juvenile arrest rates by 73 percent since 2007, while now safely treating over 90% of youth in the community. This has been a direct result of improved screening to determine need for detainment, statewide application of risk-needs assessment, and implementation of effective prevention and diversion programs.