The courts, offenders and their families, victims and their families, and the community all benefit from Field Services. State mandated services are provided to probationers in the form of regular supervision contact, referrals to and oversight of counseling and treatment program participation, and to the court in the form of court reports containing dispositional recommendations with regard to juvenile and adult matters. Court officers appear in adult and juvenile courts on a daily basis. In addition, Probation Specialists are assigned to countywide misdemeanor courtrooms and set fees pursuant to County Ordinance 914. Supervision services are provided to adult and juvenile offenders. Adult services include group therapy sessions geared to illicit behavior change, participation in collaborative programs such as Recovery Opportunity Center (ROC), Day Reporting Center (DRC), Veterans Court, Mental Health Court, and Domestic Violence Court. All supervision services include utilization of evidence based practices, assessments of risk/needs with validated assessment tools, the Correctional Offender Management Profiling for Alternate Sanctions (COMPAS) for adults and the Wisconsin assessment tool for juveniles, oversight of compliance with probation, referrals to treatment and counseling, case management, drug testing, case planning, and out-of-home foster or group home care for juvenile offenders whose needs rise to that level of intervention. The level of supervision depends on several factors including the seriousness and type of offense, assessment results regarding risk to the community and needs of the probationer, probation recommendations, mandated laws, and court orders. Wraparound services are offered to youths at risk of being removed from their homes, and their families, in an effort to prevent out of home placement. Additionally, juveniles are monitored in the Independent Living and Transitional Housing Programs offered to those who have resided in out-of-home placement facilities or those in a post-placement aftercare program. Lastly, services are provided to former juvenile probationers who elect to remain in the Extended Foster Care Program, which assists them in the transition to adulthood. Juvenile intake officers process referrals from law enforcement and, depending on certain criteria, route them to local resources such as diversion programs, or to the Office of the District Attorney for consideration of filing formal charges. Diversion programs include a variety of services and counseling programs, juvenile hall tours, a Graffiti Offender Program, a Gang Awareness Program, a Shoplifting Class and a Drug Awareness Program. Intake officers also review arrest reports and prepare timely court reports recommending whether juveniles remain detained, return home, or are released on home supervision while awaiting their court hearings. Field services also works in collaboration with other law enforcement agencies and many community based agencies in pre-delinquency programs, to assist probationers in successfully completing their conditions of probation, remain law abiding, and achieve rehabilitation. In addition, Field Services staff participate in multi-agency task forces which protect the community, including a gang task force, a narcotics task force, a sex offender task force, and the countywide Post-Release Accountability and Corrections Team. Victim services include notification of court hearings, advisement of the process of seeking restitution, determination of restitution, collecting victim impact statements, and providing referrals to services.
Field Projects staff are responsible for the oversight and implementation of grant funded programs including Evidence Based Practices (EBP) as provided by Senate Bill 678 (SB678) and the Criminal Justice Realignment as provided by Assembly Bill 109 (AB109). Staff assigned to the Community Supervision Oversight Unit assist with program delivery and quality assurance related to implementation of EBP. The purpose of EBP is to utilize and deliver methods of intervention that are demonstrated by scientific research to reduce recidivism among individuals under probation supervision. This is accomplished through utilizing validated assessment tools, Motivational Interviewing techniques and cognitive behavioral therapy. The Criminal Justice Realignment shifted the responsibility of supervision of certain parolees from the state to local probation departments. AB109 staff are responsible for providing Post-release Community Supervision to convicted adult offenders who have completed a prison sentence; as well as offenders who can no longer go to state prison for certain types of offenses and are released from local custody to a period of supervision by a probation officer. These offenders have a “split sentence” and are place on Mandatory Supervision. Field Projects staff provide training to employees as well as develop, maintain, and collect data on the progress of these grant funded programs.
Pretrial Services responsibility was assumed from the Superior Court on July 1, 2012. Probation Officers work alongside the Sheriff’s Department inside the county jails. Staff assist the Court in making pretrial release decisions through diligent data gathering, defendant interviews, applying objective analysis and utilizing evidence-based practices. The purpose is to gather and verify information regarding the defendant and analyze whether the individual would be appropriate for release on their own recognizance. Information taken into consideration includes an offender’s potential threat to community and victim safety, assessment tool results, and analysis of a defendant’s criminal and court history. The courts are encouraged to detain offenders who present serious safety risks to the community. For offenders who are released on their own recognizance, Pretrial Services staff monitor their compliance with court ordered conditions of release and quickly provide information to the court regarding any violations. Additionally, Pretrial Services provides needed referrals for medical, mental health, substance abuse, employment, housing, or other necessities either before or after release from custody.