The Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors paid tribute on Tuesday, July 19, to the professionals who serve the County as Probation, Pretrial and Parole Supervision Officers, recognizing their often unsung achievements in contributing to public safety, community engagement, and support for victims.
Most public safety professionals don’t enter the profession for the recognition, appreciation or financial rewards.
“There is one particular branch of the profession, though, whose role is keeping communities safe, and yet their crews are far too often overlooked,” noted Supervisor Candace Andersen, Chair of the Board of Supervisors. “Those are the dedicated workers in the community supervision profession, who are the linchpin of the Criminal Justice System. They often don’t wear recognizable uniforms or drive marked cars with lights and sirens, yet they play an equally vital role in ensuring everyone’s safety.”
In Contra Costa County, the Probation Department supervises adults placed on Probation as well as individuals being released from prison and being placed on Post Release Community Supervision (PRCS). In the juvenile justice system, the Probation Department operates the Juvenile Hall located in Martinez and Orin Allen Rehabilitation Facility located in Byron, supervises juveniles placed on probation, and provides a wide range of in home and support services aimed at keeping at-risk kids out of custody whenever possible.
The probation profession has changed dramatically in recent years, utilizing data and evidence-based practices to more creatively and effectively manage increased caseloads. The implementation of public safety realignment in California, which has resulted in a strong Community Corrections Partnership in Contra Costa County, has added additional responsibilities and opportunities for Probation Officers to make a difference with the individuals we supervise.
Interim Probation Chief Todd Billeci notes that Contra Costa County’s Probation, Pretrial and Parole team members are innovators in the field, providing service and support for offenders while also providing protection and assistance for victims.
“Too often, the impact of our staff on public safety might go unnoticed,” Billeci said. “We appreciate the Board of Supervisors taking time to recognize this week as ‘Probation, Pretrial and Parole Supervision Officer’s Week’ and acknowledging the vital role our officers play. Our success comes when we give juveniles and adults the education, job training and life skills they need to enable them to become more industrious citizens in our community.”
Contra Costa County’s Probation Department has been honored for its innovative approaches and high degree of success. Nationally, the week of July 17 – 23, 2016, serves as the official week to recognize the professional achievements of the probation, pretrial and parole supervisors.