As California celebrates Probation Services Week, July 21 through 27, as the Chief Probation Officer in Plumas County, I would like to take the opportunity to reflect on the critical work probation does in our criminal justice system and say thank you to all the men and women of the Plumas County Probation Department who work to protect our communities, reduce recidivism, restore victims and promote healthy families.
Probation is committed to a research-based approach to public safety that promotes positive behavior change. Research has proven that communities are safer when offenders are provided tools to succeed in life after incarceration while, at the same time, holding them accountable for their actions. These tools can include but not be limited to appropriate counseling, interactive journaling, or job skills training. This is a proven way to lower recidivism and rehabilitate probation clients with strategies that change their behavior and criminal thinking.
Probation’s approach to community safety includes holding clients accountable through community supervision. Investment in services and evidence-based rehabilitation is critical to lowering recidivism, but also important in ensuring those we supervise are accountable for their choices and behavior.
The work probation does assists in restoring victims and preventing future victimization. The most important thing we can do as law enforcement is prevent a future crime from being committed and prevent future victims.
When we are successful, the payoff is extensive to our communities and all aspects of the criminal justice system. From the prevention of future victims and making our communities safer, to the value of saving a life and helping regenerate a contributing member of our community. In addition to the personal and public safety impact probation makes, there are huge cost savings when we succeed in our mission.
Probation also has the critical function to investigate and draft sentencing reports for the court following a conviction of a felony. We investigate the facts of the case and the offender’s background and recommend an appropriate sentence by objectively assessing the law and facts of the case. We also investigate and complete reports in juvenile matters.
All probation department staff takes pride in the work we do for Plumas County. We help protect the community, support the court, assist victims and help rehabilitate offenders to reduce recidivism. Probation is critical to our county and state and will continue to be the linchpin of the criminal justice system. The enhanced and continued investment in probation allows us to continue our effort to be leaders in community supervision and positive change.