San Joaquin County
Probation Department

Juvenile Services

Juvenile Field and Court Services

The Juvenile Assessment Unit handles all out-of-custody citations for youth who reside in San Joaquin County. These citations allege violations of the law; and the majority of these citations are referred by local law enforcement agencies; but some may also be sent in from out-of-county departments or be referred on a promise to appear (PTA) from the Detention Division.

The Assessment Unit Officers begin their assessment process by reviewing all law enforcement Crime Reports, Child Protective Services (CPS) histories, school records, and any other relevant material including victim statements.

The officer will then assess the youth using the PACT (Positive Achievement Change Tool) and make a determination on whether to submit an affidavit to the District Attorney to initiate delinquency proceedings; divert the youth to allow completion of specified conditions by placing the youth on a 6-month informal probation contract or holding the matter open for a specified period of time, or close the referral. The Unit also processes juvenile record sealing requests.

The CAPS Unit targets at-risk youths in the community and in schools before they enter the juvenile justice system using a probation officer, social workers, and community volunteers.


Social Workers working with community-based organizations provide evidence-based early intervention and prevention programs to at-risk youth to help them become independent and successful while preventing self-destructive and socially negative behavior, such as substance abuse, delinquency, and family dysfunction.

Community Accountability Boards (CAB)

Targets at-risk youth having behavioral or disciplinary issues at school. The CAB is comprised of school representatives and community volunteers who assess the present issue, determine an appropriate behavioral contract, and provide ongoing support, mentoring, and follow through with the terms of the contract. Staff trains and assists interested schools and communities in establishing a CAB at their site.

Discovery ChalleNGe Academy (DCA)

This program, a collaboration between the San Joaquin County Office of Education and the California National Guard, is for youth from ages 16 to 19 who have dropped out of high school, or are at risk for dropping out. The Probation Department has assigned a social worker to the site to work with the cadets living at the DCA campus and the graduates. The program offers a highly-structured environment that promotes leadership, cooperation, and academic skills, while building self-esteem, pride, and confidence.The program consists of a 22-week residential phase and a 12-month post-residential phase. The Social Worker works closely with students, mentors, parents, and faculty to ensure a positive and successful transition during the residential phase as well as after the cadet graduates and transitions to the next stage of their life.

DCA Brochure

DCA Mentor

The County Supervision Unit supervises juveniles who score moderate-high to high risk on the PACT, a validated risk/needs assessment tool, as well as those placed on Informal Probation or Deferred Entry of Judgment by the Court. The probation officers provide delinquency prevention, crisis intervention, and supervision services. Supervision services provided utilize Effective Principles in Community Supervision (EPICS), which is an evidenced-based probation supervision model. These officers are responsible for reassessing youth, referring the youth to targeted interventions, making corresponding changes to the case plan, and implementing the goals and objectives of the case plan, which addresses each youth's criminogenic needs. Officers monitor compliance with the case plan and conditions of probation, and file violations of probation when necessary.

Gender Responsive Caseload

The Gender Responsive caseload serves female wards aged 12-17 who have been assessed at the moderate-high to high-risk level using a validated risk assessment tool. A Probation Officer III supervises Gender Responsive caseloads of no more than 30 female wards and provides evidenced-based programming, such as Aggression Replacement Training, Courage to Change, and Girls Moving On, in an environment that promotes participation and change in the thought process. The Probation Officer III provides services that intentionally allow gender identity and development to effect and guide all aspects of program design and service delivery.

The purpose of the Juvenile Investigations Unit is to write all Court ordered reports for youth who reside in San Joaquin County.
These reports include social history, deferred entry of judgement suitability, 241.1 Dual Status Protocol, informal, DJJ, and transfer hearing reports.  The Investigations Unit Officers will begin their report writing process by reviewing all law enforcement crime reports, Child Protective Services (CPS) histories, school records, and any other relevant material, including victim statements.  The officer will then render to the Court a written report of the investigation with a recommendation to the Court of the proper disposition to be made in the proceeding in the best interest of the child.

While family reunification is always one of the goals for rehabilitation, there are times when it is in the best interests of the youth to be placed in out-of-home foster care. This can include group homes, short-term residential therapeutic programs, and resource families both in and out of state. Probation Officers assigned to the Placement Unit create case plans with attainable treatment goals that include a discharge plan with timely reunification and permanency in mind for new placement youth and facilitate regular Child Family Team meetings with the youth, their family, and formal or informal support network. Officers attend monthly court permanency hearings, weekly multi-disciplinary team meetings, as well as engaging youth with the appropriate placements. Every youth in the Placement Unit is seen by the probation officer at least once a month – no matter where they reside.

POOC probation officers are assigned to specific school sites to supervise moderate-high to high risk youth. Placing probation officers on school campuses strengthens the link between the probation officers and the students at school. POOC aligns with research demonstrating the effectiveness of community-based interventions and is supported by the US Department of Justice, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. This is a partnership between the Probation Department and local school districts and the County ONE Schools.

Project 654 is a joint program of the San Joaquin County Probation Department and San Joaquin County Office of Education (SJCOE). Probation officers and probation assistants are stationed at various county ONE schools within the community. Their goal is to keep students in school and out of the juvenile justice system. Students attending the SJCOE Community School Program enter into a contract for a duration of six months provided that the students and parents are willing to participate in the program. The probation assistants monitor the student’s attendance and performance and make referrals to other agencies to meet the needs of the students and family.

Reconnect Day Reporting Center is a formal day reporting program that operates in partnership with the County Office of Education and local community-based organizations.  At Reconnect, moderate-high to high-risk youth report daily for split day programming.  Programming includes a combination of school based programming provided by the Office of Education and evidence based programming to reduce criminogenic risk factors.  A community based organization also provides case management and family support services to the youth assigned to the Reconnect program.

Reconnect Brochure

Reconnect Brochure - Spanish

CITA is a specialized juvenile court that focuses on the special needs of youth with serious mental health illnesses and the community system that serves them.  The target population are juveniles with serious mental illness that has contributed to their criminal activity or their failure of community based treatment efforts that have resulted in behaviors that are illegal, or dangerous to others.  Each CITA client is assigned to the CITA Probation Officer, Clinician, and Behavioral Health Specialist. These three individuals team together to work with the client and their family to promote positive change, and assist in dealing with their mental health needs. In some circumstances the family may be assigned a parent partner to assist the parent or guardian during the time the youth is in the program.

CITA Brochure

Under new California law (SB190), counties cannot charge fees to parent and guardians with youth in the juvenile delinquency system beginning January 1, 2018. View attachment for more information.

SB 190 flyer

Juvenile Detention Services