- Juvenile Probation
- Prevention Services
- Cognitive Behavioral Treatment
- Evening Reporting Center (ERC)
- School Probation / Social Worker
- Specialized Case Loads
Juvenile Justice Crime Prevention Act
The Juvenile Justice Crime Prevention Act (JJCPA) allocates funds annually to provide a continuum of responses to juvenile crime and delinquency. The JJCPA requires a collaborative approach for implementing a system of responses for at-risk youth and juvenile offenders, and requires the formation of a Juvenile Justice Coordinating Council that assists in the development and operation of programs funded by the act. The Probation Department currently expends the majority of JJCPA funds for two main programs: Early Intervention Officers and School-Based Officers.
School-Based Officer Program
The Probation Department seeks to further address juvenile crime and delinquency by placing School-Based Officers (SBO) on certain local school campuses in an effort to positively impact school performance and attendance. The SBOs interact closely with school administrators and teaching staff, law enforcement officers, and all students. Currently, there are five SBOs funded by the JJCPA and each has a caseload of up to 30 offenders. SBO Officers may refer offenders to counseling services for a variety of needs
Youthful Offender Block Grant Program
The Probation Department utilizes funds from the State’s Youthful Offender Block Grant (YOBG) to provide close supervision for specified offenders and operate a long-term commitment program at the Juvenile Hall. The supervision component consists of a Deputy Probation Officer in each area office who maintains a caseload of juvenile offenders who are on probation for more serious crimes and have a history of delinquency, violence, or gang affiliation. Additionally, each caseload is supported by the services of full time mentors provided by a local community based organization. The mentors interact closely with offenders and their families and refer them to appropriate pro-social activities and services.
The purpose of the YOBG is to enable local jurisdictions to use State funds to provide services and supervision to juvenile offenders who are no longer eligible to be committed to the State Division of Juvenile Facilities. The intent is to address delinquency and offer interventions at the local level where they have the greatest impact. The Probation Department also operates a commitment program where offenders who have demonstrated their risk to public safety may be detained for over a year while receiving services designed to negate further delinquency
Incentives & Sanctions Model
A risk-based Incentives and Sanctions program is an evidence-based intervention where supervising officers apply sanctions or rewards in response to specific behaviors of the offender. The goal is to increase positive behavior change related to behavior such as reducing drug use or applying for jobs.
How it Works
Incentives, or rewards, are provided to individuals to reinforce specific, target behaviors such as attending substance abuse treatment, remaining abstinent, submitting clean drug tests, and meeting other case plan goals. Incentives can include reporting by telephone instead of in person, bus tokens, gift cards, or genuine praise from their probation officer. Social rewards can be as effective as monetary rewards. To decrease the frequency of an undesirable target behavior such as missing an appointment or testing positive, officers can apply a punishment from the graduated sanctions and incentives offense matrix that is provided to the minor at the initial intake process with the probation officer. Sanctions can include more frequent drug tests, electronic monitoring, or a short stint in the juvenile hall.
Why it Works
Rewards and sanctions, or contingency management programs, are based on the theory of operant learning, which explains that human behavior is learned through the consequences that result from our actions. Behaviors that result in positive consequence will be repeated. Therefore, behaviors that are reinforced or rewarded are more likely to increase, and behaviors that are punished are more likely to decrease over time.
The Juvenile Probation Department has many specialized caseloads which include supervision of selected gang offenders, very high risk offenders, and sexual offenders. The department also supervises at risk juveniles in camps, foster care, and residential treatment facilities. The department has an ERC which provides intensive supervision of youth and includes 50 hours of cognitive behavioral groups, weekly drug and alcohol education groups, guest speakers, pro social activities, and parenting groups.
The department also has a multi-disciplinary, wrap around program consisting of staff from Child Welfare, juvenile probation, and the local parent advocate agency. The department also offers Cognitive Behavioral Groups which are facilitated by probation officers, and the Parent Project which is designed for parents who need help raising difficult or out of control adolescent children.
Evening Reporting Center
The Evening Reporting Center (ERC) is designed to serve medium to high-risk offenders between the ages of 14 and 17 who meet certain eligibility requirements focusing on strengthening the ability of youth to achieve positive outcomes. The program provides highly structured evidence-based programming and prosocial activities during afterschool hours when youth are at a higher risk to engage in delinquent behaviors. The program is a collaborative between the Napa County Probation Department and Aldea Children and Family Services.
Youth are court ordered into the program for 60 days where they receive evidence-based programming by staff trained as cognitive-behavior facilitators targeting criminogenic needs. Each ERC youth has an individualized case plan which is monitored by the senior ERC probation officer dedicated to coordinate the ERC program.
The ERC probation officer provides case management and after care services. The ERC is a crucial enhancement to services for the target population. It provides a minimum of 50 hours of cognitive-behavioral training, reduces the reliance on detention to manage behaviors and provides for structured prosocial activities during high-risk periods. The ERC utilizes evidence-based NCTI curriculum and Motivational Interviewing with program staff from Probation and Aldea trained in cognitive behavior facilitation.