Juvenile Field Supervision (JFS)
Juvenile Field Supervision offers an array of services to youth (up to age 21) on formal and informal juvenile probation, to families, victims, and the community of Ventura County as a whole. In addition to common supervision services such as regular office appointments, home visits, drug testing, referring to programming and services, developing individualized case plans, utilizing validated risk assessment tools, the unit is also tasked with reviewing incoming juvenile citations from all Ventura County law enforcement. The citation review process determines if a youth’s case will be referred to the District Attorney’s office for filing consideration or if it will be handled informally through a variety of diversion opportunities, without any court involvement. In diversion, the youth typically attends a prevention class, completes an assignment, or performs community service. Likewise, a youth may be referred to the Restorative Justice program, a diversion program, where the youth have an opportunity to work with victims of crime in a safe environment working towards accepting responsibility and making amends for any wrongdoing. In addition, youth assigned the unit have access to public health nurses, youth advocates, educational advocates, employment specialists, and many other beneficial programs and services.
Juvenile Specialty Program (JSP)
The Juvenile Specialty Programs unit provides supervision and services to youth who are engaged in the Repeat Offender Prevention Program (ROPP) and Insights Juvenile Mental Health Court.
ROPP is an intensive, comprehensive, multi-disciplinary program that provides therapeutic and advocatory services for first-time justice involved probation youth. Youth who are 16.5 years old or younger and found to have risk factors in four areas such as: substance abuse, poor school attendance/performance, significant family problems, and pre-delinquent behaviors such as gangs, runaway and theft. ROPP is comprised of probation officers, marriage and family therapists, and youth advocates. All staff involved work collaboratively as a team to provide intensive services to these youth with the focus on rehabilitation, family harmony, increase school attendance, improve parental involvement, increase accountability through the completion of community service and payment of restitution, reduce gang association/activity, decrease recidivism and out-of-home placements, and the reduction of violent crimes. Pro-Social events are planned for the youth to expose them to constructive activities in their communities and as an incentive for improved performance.
Insights Juvenile Mental Health Court was developed in response to the needs of a population of juvenile offenders with a mental health diagnosis and co-occurring substance abuse disorder who do not respond well to traditional rehabilitation programs; therefore, repeatedly cycle through custodial facilities or out-of-home placements. 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 Behavioral Health, United Parents and the Ventura County Office of Education to provide intensive treatment and 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. Youth receive comprehensive mental health services, substance abuse treatment, peer parent support and other county and community-based support resources. Additionally, Insights youth participate in several prosocial events each year, and receive incentives for good reviews, completion of milestones and graduations.
Transitional Aged Youth and Juvenile Intensive Services (TAYJIS)
Transitional Aged Youth and Juvenile Intensive Services unit provides services and supervision to youth who are determined to be high risk. The unit also supervises specialty cases including youth released from Secured Youth Treatment Facilities (SYTF), transitional aged youth (TAY) on adult grants of probation, and the Truancy Habits Reduced Increases Vital Education (THRIVE) program.
Youth released from SYTF have served lengthy commitments for serious offenses. Along with intensive supervision, these youth are provided with resources and referrals to assist with successful re-entry into the community.
TAY, ages 18-25, are young adults on formal probation. Behavioral and scientific studies of adolescents and young adults have concluded that the brain, specifically the parts that affect rational thought, judgement, and awareness of long-term consequences is not fully developed until the age of 25. Therefore, these young adults are assigned to this unit and provided with an appropriate level of supervision and community resource referrals to increase their opportunities for success.
THRIVE consists of a Deputy Probation Officer who works closely with the Ventura County District Attorney’s Office, the Ventura County Public Defender’s Office, Ventura County Public health, and the School Attendance Review Boards (SARB). Habitual truants meet with school officials and county prosecutors to strategize ways to improve class attendance. Appropriate remedial and community referral services are made available during the SARB meetings. Additionally, the parents and the youth may be referred to the Public Health Nurse. If these services prove ineffective, prosecutors may utilize formal court sanctions to hold truants and their parents responsible.
All three Juvenile Field units have access to a plethora of resources and services, much of which are funded by JJCPA, YOBG and SB 823 grants.