Today, Chief Probation Officer John Keene announced this year’s annual Probation Service Week will be taking place from July 19 – July 25, 2020, to honor probation professionals who work to keep communities safe. Throughout the week, the Probation Department will be showcasing the work Probation does throughout San Mateo County and how probation officers and probation programs are making a true difference in the lives of clients by using evidence-based practices that help clients achieve long-term success.
“Every year, we make an extra effort to acknowledge the compassion, strength, and determination of the men and women of the Probation Department as they serve our clients and the residents of San Mateo County. The uniqueness of the Probation profession, which is often misunderstood, challenges us to engage with our local communities around various issues such as victimization, racial and ethnic disparities, and gender inequalities through our evidence-based supervision practices that enhance community safety, reduce recidivism, restore victims and promote healthy families,” said Chief Probation Officer John Keene.
Probation has proven to be successful in multiple facets of the juvenile and criminal justice system. Probation is committed to transforming lives of our clients to stop the cycle of crime and create safer communities. Apart from providing scientifically-proven care to all our clients, Probation works alongside community groups to connect clients with resources and programs they need to grow successfully.
In San Mateo County, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic, Probation employees found new ways to deliver vital services and get their work done while keeping the community and each other safe from the coronavirus. Deputy Probation officers continued to provide supervision and support to juvenile and adult probationers and families via phone calls and video conferences. Group Supervisors have filled a void and stepped up, acting as teachers, while school officials worked to get online classes set up, providing counseling sessions and updates about the pandemic, and leading activities such as gardening projects, cooking demonstrations, Mother’s Day art projects and game nights.
In a proclamation commemorating Probation Services Week from Governor Newsom states, “Probation Departments have a profound impact on the safety and health of our communities by working to reduce recidivism through evidence-based programming and supervision. Probation’s success ensures that our state’s communities are a safer environment for all Californians to live and prosper.” In San Mateo County, Supervisor Don Horsley sponsored the local proclamation saying, “San Mateo County Probation Department employees are trained community corrections professionals that uphold the law with dignity by recognizing the right of the community to be safe-guarded from criminal activity by helping offenders successfully reenter society and become productive citizens.”
Probation officers and staff are dedicated to serving communities and helping clients end the cycle of crime through the use of evidence-based practices and programming that are proven to reduce recidivism. The progress and success of Probation in California is based on the commitment to providing quality supervision, supports and services to clients, especially now during the COVID-19 pandemic. To continue supervising our clients as safely as possible, Probation has adopted guidelines recommended by county and health officials and informed by the latest data.
During Probation Service Week it is important to recognize probation officers and staff for their dedication to their clients and our community regardless of the challenge.