SB County Probation Department recognized for improving youth quality of life

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SB County Probation Department recognized for improving youth quality of life
Photo credit: San Bernardino County Probation Department video screenshot

SAN BERNARDINO COUNTY – Therapy, education, and training are the services provided for youth in San Bernardino County Probation Department’s ARISE program. The California State Association of Counties (CSAC) honored the department with a 2022 Challenge Award which recognizes county government programs for best practices and innovations.

The CSAC judging panel reviewed 370 entries and recognized 19 programs for the 2022 Challenge Award.

San Bernardino County’s ARISE program has operated for one year. It was born out of the passage of Senate Bill 823, Senate Bill 92, and Assembly Bill 200 – California’s Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) systems’ statewide realignment.

“The legislation dramatically shifted the landscape of juvenile justice in California,” said San Bernardino County Probation Department Division Director II Eric Raley. “Youth who were at the Department of Juvenile Justice at the state level were re-aligned back to the county of origin.” 

The department developed ARISE – A Restorative Integration for Successful Engagement to accommodate the new population. 

According to the San Bernardino County Probation Department, officials tout ARISE as the model for DJJ realignment throughout California.

“The challenge was to develop a comprehensive rehabilitation and treatment program, in county, for youthful offenders committed long term, with time frames typically consisting of five to ten years,” states the San Bernardino County ARISE executive summary.

Vocational and education opportunities

The department developed a program that includes a revised community re-entry. 

Local college and community based organizations provide youth with opportunities for success upon release. Searchlight Society, an organization that provides vocational training, certified ten ARISE youth in Business Development.

RELATED: SB County Sheriff’s $2 Million funded HOPE Team reaches out to Hesperia homeless

Youth are also provided parenting classes since approximately one-fourth in the facility have children of their own. 

Participants have visits with their children in person at the facility, to promote bonding. The classes provide the opportunity to understand how to have healthy relationships with their children.

In addition to program development, the department remodeled the juvenile detention center into a more home-like secure youth treatment facility. They also remodeled a separate property into a non-secure treatment facility as a step down from restrictive housing. 

Hand-picked probation staff, who participated in an extensive training plan, developed these innovations.  

“All of the team is committed to our youth and I think the authenticity that comes from a mentorship standpoint creates an environment that is easier for them to be able to be more relaxed,” said San Bernardino County Probation Supervisor II Marshe Marshall. “They come here and actually learn tools that will help them be successful upon release.”

Success story

So far, the department released one ARISE participant and probation officers continue to supervise him.  

Upon release, ARISE assisted him with securing gainful employment and gave him guidance in continuing his college education. 

“He has been successful in both of these endeavors,” states the ARISE executive summary.

For more information about the ARISE Program contact Probation Department Division Director II Eric Raley at 909-659 5409.

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