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Napa County News

Posted on: January 6, 2020

Napa County Superior Court Selects Julie Baptista as Chief Probation Officer

Baptista will replace longtime CPO Mary Butler who will retire in February

NAPA, CA— The Judges of the Napa County Superior Court have selected Julie A. Baptista to serve as Chief Probation Officer, following the retirement of current CPO Mary Butler on Feb. 7, 2020.

Baptista is the current chief deputy for the Napa County Probation Department, where she has worked for nearly 25 years. 

“For the majority of my career in Napa, I have had the privilege to learn from Chief Butler as she built a dedicated and talented team of probation officers, juvenile hall counselors and support staff, and then inspired this team to challenge the traditional approach to community corrections,” said Baptista. “She has created a department committed to keeping the community safe through both treatment and accountability. I am proud of the work we do, and am honored the judges have given me this opportunity to follow in Mary’s footsteps.”

Butler has served as CPO for Napa County for the past 17 years. She has been responsible for the Juvenile Justice Center, including Juvenile Detention and Probation Services as well as the Adult Division of the Probation Department.

“These past 17 years has been the most rewarding time in my career,” Butler said.  “I have been working with the most dedicated staff bringing about changes to help keep Napa a safe community. I am proud of all programs we have, and I know Julie Baptista will continue on the road set by the Napa County Superior Court and the Board of Supervisors.”

She added: “I can retire knowing the department is in good hands.”

Much of Baptista’s career has focused on programs serving Napa’s at-risk youth, both in the community, in schools, and in treatment programs. One of her proudest achievements is being part of developing Napa Probation’s Evening Reporting Center in 2009 that provides treatment and positive social activities for youth. Throughout her career in Napa, Baptista has built collaborative partnerships with county and community agencies so that offenders and victims receive the services they need and deserve, while ensuring the safety of the community.

For the last decade, Baptista has been a part of the Probation Department’s implementation and use of Evidence Based Practices (EBP) to guide decision making in the supervision and treatment of offenders. EBP involves the use of treatment and rehabilitation programs to alter criminal behavior.

Baptista began her career with Napa Probation in 1994 as a group counselor in Juvenile Hall, and became a probation officer in 1998 after receiving her bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from California State University Sacramento. 

Before she took over Probation in 2002, Butler served nearly two decades in the Napa County Health and Human Services Agency managing all of its mental health programs as well as Child Protective Services. She has a Master of Arts in Counseling, and is a licensed marriage family therapist. She is also the past president of the Chief Probation Officers of California. 

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The Board of Supervisors and staff of Napa County are dedicated to preserving and sustaining Napa County for present and future generations as a community with generous open space, a thriving agricultural industry and a quality human and natural environment.

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