Indian Gaming Grant
Placer County Probation Department awarded $10,000 from the Placer County Local Community Benefit Committee and Thunder Valley Casino for the Community Education Scholarship.
With the implementation of Senate Bill 678, Assembly Bill 109, and evidence based programming, the Placer County Probation Department continues to develop and broaden its strength based approach in the supervision and rehabilitation of criminal offenders while balancing offender accountability. The demands placed on probation officers have dramatically increased as the department has implemented the assessment of offenders’ criminogenic needs through the use of the Ohio Risk Assessment Tool. Probation officers develop case plans for all offenders on Moderate to Intensive Supervision caseloads. These case plans are developed during interactions with the offender to direct them to goal-oriented classes and services and take into consideration natural resources such as family and community supports. In order to hold offenders accountable, frequent contacts, service referrals, random drug and alcohol testing are essential components to maintaining effective supervision. However, limited education restricts the opportunities for gainful employment for juvenile and adult offenders.
Furthermore, supervised offenders can be required to attend and complete Evidence-based Programming as provided by the Probation Department. These programs include: Courage to Change (a cognitive-behavioral interactive journaling system where participants address their individual problem areas), Independent Living Skills, and Job Seekers. Additionally, offenders may be required to participate in residential and/or outpatient substance abuse treatment. The level of treatment is determined by an assessment completed by a HHS practitioner and would focus on the offenders’ individual needs. Substance abuse treatment may provide these offenders with the tools needed to obtain and sustain sobriety while the probation department provides intensive supervision and accountability. However, limited education restricts the opportunities for juvenile and adult offenders to fully engage in these rehabilitative services.
The implementation of the Community Education Scholarship will assist offenders in completing their high school education through alternative education avenues. Whether juvenile or adult, the probation department uses the funds from this project to pay for any education related costs in order to ensure offenders’ completion of the GED or other vocational related education. With this increased education and certification, these individuals will have expanded opportunities for employment, and they will have a decreased chance of recidivism or future incarceration.