The Amador County Probation Department provides sentencing reports to the Amador County Superior Court, offender supervision services including pretrial, direct programming to offenders and in partnership with the Amador County Sheriff's Office, alternative custody services. The Probation Department is also charged with the determination and collection of restitution for victims.
Officers provide offender supervision services in lieu of jail custody. Officers are charged with supervising offenders while they remain in the community. The goal is to manage offender behavior and offer services that are directly paired with offender need/risk. To achieve this goal, Officers administer an evidence based needs/risk assessment tool. The assessment tool assists Officers in making supervision decisions as well as making referrals to both county and community based organizations.
With the passage of the 2011 Public Safety Realignment Act, Amador County stakeholders determined, among other reforms and new programs, the Alternative Sentencing Program needed to be revamped to assist the local criminal justice system to handle realigned offenders. The Amador County Probation Department and the Amador County Sheriff's Office have partnered and changed the way offenders are allowed to serve their jail sentence. Offenders are assessed using an evidenced based assessment tool to assist Officers in making a determination if an offender qualifies to serve their jail sentence in an alternative manner. If qualified, offenders are allowed to serve their sentence by performing community service or by being monitored via a GPS unit. Officers monitor offenders compliance and if/when warranted, offenders can/will be returned to jail custody.
Amador County stakeholders approved the use of realignment act funds to offer The Change Companies Courage To Change (CTC) Program for offenders under the supervision of the Probation Department. All Probation Officers and a Health and Rehabilitation Specialist from Amador County Heath and Human Services attended training offered by The Change Companies to deliver this program. CTC is an interactive journaling system that is an evidence-based supervision/case management model developed in collaboration with several United States Probation Offices.
Through the use of this cognitive-behavioral interactive journaling and interaction with their support team, participants address their individual problem areas based on a criminogenic risk and needs assessment. Implementation is flexible and can be customized based on risk, responsivity and programming needs.
By personalizing the information presented in the Journals to their own circumstances, participants will develop a record of their commitments and progress throughout supervision and a road-map to success in their efforts to make positive behavior change. This program will be offered on a continual basis and has proven to reduce recidivism.
The Amador County Probation Department has also partnered with the Amador County Library to provide the Probation Literacy Assistance Network or P.L.A.N. program. The Probation Department and Library Literacy Services Program have networked resources in this unique partnership to offer offenders the opportunity to build a more constructive and successful future for themselves.
Stakeholders know to impact recidivism and make long last positive changes in offenders lives addressing work readiness is a key factor. Eligible offenders can participate in the Workforce Assistance Placement Program (WAPP). The Amador County Probation Department has partnered with Mother Lode Job Training (MLJT) to offer WAPP. Offenders report to MLJT and are required to complete a series of pre-employment screenings. If they complete the screenings and deemed appropriate for WAPP, offenders are assigned to Amador County Public Works and participate on work crews. Offenders are not working off time or fines. They are real employees, trained to be entry level public works employees with the same expectations as any other county employee. They earn a pay check just like any other employee. The program is 90 days but can be extended if MLJT, Amador County Public Works Supervisor and the Probation Officer all agree the participant will benefit from continuing in the program. The goal is to create a responsible person who has been trained and is employable. MLJT works with participants to ensure future employment as a transition from WAPP.