Juvenile Specialty Services

Juvenile Specialty Programs Unit (JSP)

Insights Court Program

The probation officer is part of the Insights Court Team. Developed in response to the needs of a population of juvenile offenders with a sustained mental health diagnosis who do not respond well to traditional rehabilitation programs and, therefore, repeatedly cycle through custodial facilities or group homes. Additionally, these youth often display significant substance abuse issues. The Insights Court Team uses a multi-disciplinary approach comprised of Ventura County Superior Court, Ventura County Probation Department, District Attorney’s Office, Public Defender’s Office, Ventura County Behavioural Health, and the Ventura County Office of Education to provide intensive case management services. Eligibility requirements include but are not limited to youth who have a significant mental health diagnosis resulting in impaired functioning, law enforcement contact, and/or delinquent conduct. By focusing on the special needs of this target population, Insights Court team members collaboratively develop individualized case plans with the youth and establish support systems in the community to prevent out-of-home placements and hospitalizations.  

Repeat Offender Prevention Program (ROPP)

Probationer in office.The Repeat Offender Prevention Program is an intensive, comprehensive, multi-disciplinary program that provides therapeutic and advocatory services for first-time probation youth who live throughout the county.  Youth who are 15.5 years old or younger and demonstrate at least three of the four risk factors related to severe family dysfunction, such as: intergenerational substance abuse, poor school attendance/performance, and chronic, pre-delinquent behaviors are eligible to participate. The ROPP unit is represented by several probation staff as well as two marriage and family therapists, a substance abuse counselor, a reading specialist, and three youth advocates. The unit works as a team in providing intensive services to these high risk probation youth with the focus on rehabilitation and family harmony.  Pro-Social events are planned for the youth throughout the year to provide them with constructive activities.

Truancy Habits Reduced Increase Vital Education (THRIVE)

The THRIVE intervention program consists of a deputy probation officer who works closely with school attendance review boards in the county and the District Attorney’s Office.  The program works with students who are identified as chronically truant to increase their daily school attendance, reduce absences, and reduce juvenile daytime crime. It also holds parents accountable for their child’s regular school attendance.  A Public Health Nurse will provide comprehensive health preventative services to THRIVE youth with the ultimate goal of reducing the number of youth referred to truancy court.

Other Specialized Programs

Juvenile Placement Unit

The Juvenile Placement Unit utilizes a team approach in working with youth who are ordered into suitable placement by the Ventura County Juvenile Court. The team is represented by several probation staff as well as a Public Health Nurse, a Human Services Agency Eligibility Officer, a parent partner, peer partner, and the Behavioral Health Department. The youth are generally placed in facilities that focus on treatment needs, delinquency history, community safety, and family issues. Placements could also be in foster homes or with relative/non-relative extended families. The goal is to achieve family reunification whenever possible. If that is not possible, we work toward placing youth in the least restrictive setting and focus on independent living skills and/or transitional housing. A portion of the placement youth who reach the age of majority may move onto the extended foster care and become non-minor dependents (NMD). These youth typically reside in a Transitional Housing Program-Plus Foster Care (THP+FC) home. The housing is similar to a group home facility setting. They remain under the jurisdiction of the court. For those NMDs who are highly independent, an alternative living arrangement called a supervised independent living placement (SILP) can be arranged. This may include an apartment, dormitory, or a rented room. The Deputy Probation Officers supervising a placement youth's case will engage parents and guardians and collectively work on the youth's case plan goals, so that the youth will be successful in their rehabilitative efforts. Local resources and placements are utilized, in order to lessen the need for out-of-county or out-of-state placements.  A Child Family Team approach will be implemented by January 1st, 2017, to support reunification efforts.

Keeping Engaged Youth Supported (KEYS program)

Keeping Engaged Youth Supported (KEYS program). Ventura County Probation Agency Juvenile Division is taking positive strides in reducing juvenile delinquency with the implementation of two new programs, the Keeping Engaged Youth Supported (KEYS) Program and Specialized Training and Employment Program for Success-Youth (STEPS) in collaboration with the Human Services Agency (HSA). The KEYS program is a non-custodial day and early evening reporting center. The program operates Monday through Friday. The program offers a fun and safe environment, job placement through the STEPS Program, life skills (i.e. goal setting, budgeting, effective communication, decision making), structured activities, parent education and outreach, mentoring, computer lab, transportation, Thursday night family style dinners, and improved linkages to existing resources in the community. In addition, the KEYS Program also provides parent education and outreach by hosting Pizza with Probation, every first Tuesday of every month to parents. The STEPS-Y program has two employment specialists from HSA that assist youth between the ages of 16-20 with one on one case management, career assessments, development of employment portfolios, job placement, and referrals to internships. Probation strives to meet the services of the community and provide ongoing support services for the youth and their families.