The Probation Department serves as the core of the Juvenile Justice System. Youth who are alleged to have committed crimes are referred to probation through incarceration or out of custody. The Juvenile Services Division consists of Non-Custody Intake, Juvenile Investigations and Court Services, Team Supervision, Campus Probation, Placement, Family Preservation, Juvenile RESET, and Central Records.
- Non-Custody Intake Unit (NCIU) – NCIU is focused on delinquency prevention. Law enforcement agencies throughout the county refer youth who have been alleged to have committed crimes. The probation officers are responsible for conducting an investigation which may consist of interviews with the youth and parents, review of the crime report, and any other necessary research. Youth are then either referred to the District Attorney’s Office for consideration of formal filing; or the youth are placed on Informal Probation, pursuant to Section 654 of the Welfare and Institutions Code. Youth who are provided Informal Probation are provided counseling and out of custody services, to deter further delinquency. Additionally, the NCIU submits reports to the Court to provide suitability recommendations for youth considered for Informal Probation pursuant to Welfare and Institutions Code Sections 654.2 and 654.3.
- Juvenile Investigations Unit – Pursuant to Welfare and Institutions Code 281, the Probation Department is mandated to prepare reports for the Court. The officers prepare recommendation reports to the court for youth adjudicated for crimes. The report will include information from the victim(s), the social information regarding the youth, comprised of school records, prior criminal and dependency history, parent and family information, and any other information obtained to determine an appropriate disposition for the youth. If a youth is recommended for out of home placement in the home of a suitable relative, foster care or group home, criteria mandated by Welfare and Institutions Codes Section 706.5, must be included in the report.
- Team Supervision Unit – Youth who have been adjudged wards of the court and placed on probation are supervised by the Team Supervision Officers. Officers utilize the Juvenile Assessment and Intervention System (JAIS) to determine the risk, strengths, and needs of the youth, for a strategic supervision case plan. Supervision is designed to provide support to the youth and family, by referrals to services including but not limited to, counseling to address substance use disorder, anger management, and education issues; family and/or individual counseling, and appropriate diversion classes. Officers support the youth’s progress by compliance monitoring, random drug, and alcohol testing and searches.
- Family Preservation Unit – When youth are at risk to be removed from their home or have significant issues that need to be addressed they may be referred to the Family Preservation Program. The primary focus of this program is to identify the needs of both the juvenile and the family and to provide “wrap-around” like support and intervention services in the home environment. This program utilizes strength-based, family-centered, intensive, individualized case planning, and management model strategies. Family Preservation also employs a team-based approach in the planning and implementation process, involving people who are instrumental in the formative years including, but not limited to: family members; social support networks; faith-based entities; service providers; and other community-based representatives.
- Placement Unit – When the Court determines there is a need to place a youth, who is a ward of the court on probation, outside the home, a report containing information regarding the need for placement and a case plan must be submitted to the Court pursuant to Welfare and Institutions Code Section 706.5. The Court shall order the care, custody, and control of the minor to be under the supervision of the probation officer who may place the minor in any of the following: the home of a relative, a non-related extended family member, a Short–Term Residential Therapeutic Program (STRTP) or a licensed Resource Family. By statute, all foster children placed in STRTP’s must be visited at least monthly regardless of location.
- Campus Probation Supervision – The Probation Department has officers assigned to various school campuses throughout the County. The officers maintain a supervision caseload of youth who attend their assigned schools. Officers on campus assist with delinquency prevention and early intervention for youth struggling with behavioral issues in the school environment.
- Readiness for Employment through Sustainable Education and Training (RESET) – Youth are provided with job readiness training and are assisted with completing or furthering their education. The youth are assessed for areas of interest and aptitude, after which a referral determination is made. Community partners assist the youth with earning a high school diploma or testing for a General Education Diploma and provide work readiness training. Some of the RESET services include exploration and guidance to help youth navigate through their career goals; assistance to obtain a valid California Identification, birth certificate, and/or documentation to work in California, and job location services.
The Juvenile Detention Facility provides services to youth both pre and post-disposition. The facility follows the mandates of Title 15 California’s Minimum Standards for Juvenile Facilities, governed by the Board of State and Community Corrections. Youth who are alleged to come within the jurisdiction of the Juvenile Court or have been deemed wards of the court and are in need of in-custody programs.
- Intake Unit – Youth who are accepted for booking are evaluated by the probation officers assigned to the Intake Unit. Interviews are conducted with the youth and the parents. Officers use the Juvenile Assessment and Intervention System (JAIS) to determine risk factors for the youth and the Massachusetts Youth Screening Instrument (MAYSI) to identify potential mental health needs of youth.
- Home Supervision/Electronic Monitor Unit – Youth may be released pending court to Home Supervision or Electronic Monitor Programs. Probation is responsible for supervising and providing support to the youth, to prevent further acts of delinquency.
Services – All in-custody youth are provided with services to ensure their wellbeing that includes:
- Educational programming, including specialized education for youth who have Behavioral Health Intervention Plans and/or Individual Education Plans
- Comprehensive medical care, mental health counseling, and psychiatric services
- Religious services
- Substance Use Disorder Counseling
- Physical Training
Youth who have been adjudicated and committed to a rehabilitative custody program, receive additional services that include:
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy 2.0
- Substance Use Disorder Group Counseling
- Substance Use Disorder Individual Counseling
- Family Counseling
- Individual Counseling
- Vocational Education – The Probation Department has a state of the art Vocational Education Program designed to provide commitment youth with training and skills which will help them obtain employment in a competitive job market. Probation has partnered with the Tulare County Office of Education to implement Paxton Patterson Building Skills for the construction industry.
- Readiness for Employment through Sustainable Education and Training (RESET) – Commitment youth are also provided with the skills, knowledge, and resources to obtain and retain employment.
- Aftercare and Re-Entry Supervision – The Probation Department provides supervision to youth who are released at the local or state level, to assist youth with a successful transition to home and community following a period of secure confinement. Officers provide youth with supervision and support services, including counseling, drug testing, compliance monitoring, and family intervention.