Probation: Juvenile Services (3253P)

Program Outcome Statement

Protect the community through victim restoration and youth offender rehabilitation and accountability, therefore reducing the risk of recidivism.

Program Services

  • Assessment and Intake
  • Investigations
  • Diversion Program
  • Field Supervision
  • Intensive Supervision
  • Camp Glenwood Aftercare
  • Family Preservation Program
  • Wraparound Services
  • Out of home Placement
  • Parent Programs
  • Juvenile Traffic Court
  • Electronic Monitoring Program

Overview

The Juvenile Services Division contributes to the County’s Shared Vision commitment to ensure public safety by reducing crime in our neighborhoods and providing residents with seamless service. Through advancing the principles of balanced and restorative justice, victims are compensated and public losses are restored. Innovative programs and interventions stress youth asset development, offender accountability, family stability, and social responsibility, thereby reducing the impact of crime and delinquency in the community.
The Division helps youth, both on formal and informal probation, become pro-social, contributing members of their communities by strengthening key developmental assets, encouraging accountability and providing thorough, timely and impartial information to the Courts. Deputy Probation Officers work closely with community based organizations (CBOs) that provide services and programs such as case management, mentoring, mental health counseling, alcohol and drug treatment, behavioral skills development, after school enrichment, conflict resolution, victim impact awareness, parenting classes, leadership training and other assistance to youth and their families. 
In FY 2017-18, the division continued to support probation youth and families through partnerships with eight (8) community based organizations for services to juvenile justice involved youth that is overseen by the Juvenile Justice Coordinating Council (JJCC). The JJCC continues to utilize the comprehensive Local Action Plan (LAP) that identified a number of priority areas that at-risk youth face; such as mental health, substance abuse, trauma, vocational training, parental monitoring, gang prevention and intervention, lack of community engagement, and re-entry services for strategic planning for juvenile justice involved youth and at-risk youth in the community.
In this reporting period, the division continued to provide contracted services for youth  that align accordingly to the priorities outlined in the 2017 LAP so that at-risk youth and those juvenile justice involved will receive appropriate services with measurable outcomes. In order to measure outcomes, the division has requested that the CBOs implement the Child and Adolescent Need and Strengths Assessment (CANS) . The CANS is a multi-purpose tool developed for children’s services to support decision-making including level of care and service planning, to facilitate quality improvement initiatives, and to allow for the monitoring of outcomes of services for youth. 

Percent of Juveniles Completing Probation without New Sustained Law Violations Increased 


Percent of Probation Reports Submitted to the Court within Established Time Frames Decreased  

Percent of Youth in the Family Preservation and Wraparound Programs who Remain in Their Homes Increased 

FY 2017-18 Year-End Story Behind Performance

Percent of Juveniles Completing Probation without New Sustained Law Violations
The overall trend for probation wardship has continued to decline. However, youth on probation continue to present varying and significant issues that require close collaboration among the Deputy Probation Officers, youth, their families as well as stakeholders and treatment providers in order for them to be successful.
To better understand the criminogenic needs of the youth we work with, the department utilizes the Juvenile Assessment and Intervention System (JAIS). JAIS is a risk, strength and needs assessment designed to assist workers to effectively and efficiently supervise youth, both in institutional settings and in the community. It is reliable and has been validated across ethnic and gender groups. JAIS consists of a brief pre-screen assessment in addition to full assessment and reassessment components. The juvenile probation officers continue to utilize outcomes form the JAIS to prepare meaningful case plans that are appropriately aligned with the criminogenic needs of the youth. This case plan is reviewed regularly to ensure the youth completes probation successfully. Without effective collaboration, case plans designed to treat specific youth need can negatively impact the juvenile, including the overall percent of youth completing probation without new sustained law violations.
In FY 2017-18, 85% of youth completed their probation without any new sustained law violations. Importantly, this percent of youth is above our projected target of 80%.
Percent of Youth in the Family Preservation and Wraparound Programs who Remain in Their Homes
The Family Preservation Program serves youth ages 12 to 18, with a primary focus on those who have entered the juvenile justice system with criminal charges that resulted from behaviors related to significant emotional or mental health issues and who are at high risk of being placed out of home. The program is also appropriate for minors charged with low-level (non-predatory, non-violent) sex offenses, minors who have substance abuse issues, and minors who come from a home where domestic violence is present. All minors in the program are at high risk for out-of-home placement.The program’s primary goal is to maintain youth in their homes by expanding the use of intensive supervision, flexible support services, and community-based resources. In FY 2017-18, 94% of youth served in these programs remained in their homes. To promote youth remaining in their homes, Probation works collaboratively with Behavioral Health and Recovery Services, Human Services Agency, schools, and other strengths-based, collateral agencies to provide services such as individual and family counseling to address issues such as substance use, dysfunction within the family, and anger management. 
Percent of Probation Reports Submitted to the Court within Established Time Frames
Each year, the juvenile services division's court investigation unit writes reports for the Court with recommendations on appropriate level of supervision for justice involved youth. Based on Court orders and agreed upon treatment plans,youth and their families are referred to appropriate services that support accountability for the crimes committed. These services strive to keep youth in their homes while providing support for positive change. Through graduated sanctions, including returning to Court and incarceration, probation staff provides structure and ensures community safety and victim restoration.
In FY 2017-18 the investigations unit continued to prepare high quality written reports and recommendations to the court on time. An overall division reorganization occurred during this reporting period, and with that change came a lot of adjustments in capturing data for this performance measure. A new manager was assigned to oversee the unit along with four new deputy probation officers that had to be trained on reporting writing. In June 2018, the department officially ended its word processing project and transitioned all its deputy probation officers to write reports on their own without the assistance of the legal word processors. Along with this, a new manager for the division’s court investigations unit has implemented a more accurate way to capture this data.

Future Priorities

  • Continue to develop systems to utilize our new case management system for data analysis;
  • Complete resource mapping to identify services for at-risk youth countywide;
  • Implement the System Improvement Plan (SIP) for probation foster youth under the Continuum of Care Reform;
  • Continue to use validated risk assessment tools. Mentor Probation Officers on how to use these tools to assign and supervise cases with the case plan;
  • Continue to develop data sharing agreements and Memorandums of Understanding (MOU) with our county partners that allow for collaborative partnerships. 

Author: Christine M. Van Donge, Management Analyst     Contact Email: cvandonge@smcgov.org     Last Updated: 08/23/2018