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In order to be eligible for AOWP you must have a sentence of a minimum of 1 day and no more than 29 days; must be able to work at least one 8 hour day per week; must have your own means of transportation to and from the worksite; must pay all program fees. Currently these fees are $35 application plus $12 for each day of work.
If you have a medical condition that does not allow you to perform physical labor, you must provide medical documentation in order to be evaluated for a light duty assignment.
Applications and sign-up must be made in person at the Marin County Probation Department at 3501 Civic Center Drive room 259 in San Rafael. You must sign up one month before the jail remand date on your court order. Check with the AOWP office for the sign up hours and days, usually between 10:00AM and 4:00PM Tuesday through Friday. You do not need an appointment to sign-up. The application form can be found on our website in PDF format. You can download it, print it out, and fill it in before you come in to sign up.
You must bring the Court document which includes the case number and (future) remand date. You must bring cash or a credit card to pay the application fee.
You must show up in Court on your Court ordered remand date to begin serving your jail sentence.
You may not be able to participate if you have a medical condition that does not allow you to be placed at a light duty worksite. Most defendants are accepted unless they have an outstanding Bench/Sheriff warrant.
Once you have signed up, the AOWP office will notify the Court and the Marin County Jail of your acceptance. You must show up in Court on your remand date with the Book and Release document that you will receive from AOWP after the sign-up session.
All worksites are in Marin County. During your AOWP sign up session you will agree on a start date to begin your assignment. This date will be after your Court remand date.
The AOWP office assigns the work site based on: your criminal offense, your choice of work day, your city of residence, and means of transportation. You can choose to work any day(s) of the week from Monday through Sunday.
If you are a resident of Marin County, AOWP will receive you from another county to complete your days in our program as a Courtesy Case. You must meet the requirements for participation and you must provide a court order from the sending county that indicates you are allowed to transfer to Marin County’s AOWP. AOWP does not transfer out to other counties.
The circumstances of your failure to complete your assignment will be reviewed to determine if you may be given a second chance to complete your days. If you are reinstated a reinstatement fee will be charged.
If you do not maintain contact with AOWP and you do not complete your assignment, an AOWP Notice of Termination will be issued and filed in court. You will finish your sentence in jail. If you have a courtesy case and do not complete your assignment, an AOWP Notice of Termination will be sent to the sending county.
The answer to this question depends on both the type of charge for which your child was referred, and if your child has a history of referrals to the Probation Department. Generally, if the case is a first time offense, and it does not involve violence, use of weapons or large amounts of property damage or loss, the Probation Department will seek to have the case handled informally, without the need for a Juvenile Court hearing. An informal handling of a case is a voluntary process, meaning you are not required to participate in it, and can always choose to have the case moved to Juvenile Court if you wish to do so. During an informal hearing, your child’s probation officer will explain the legal process to your family, ask for statements from both you and your child about the alleged offense, and gather social information about your family, to determine if an informal process is appropriate. If the probation officer determines that it is, he/she will suggest a plan for how to resolve the situation. Upon completion of that mutually agreed upon plan, the Probation Department has the discretionary authority, in most cases, to dismiss the matter.
The Probation Department wants as many minors as possible to be handled informally, so that the Juvenile Court can be reserved for the serious cases involving allegations of violence, gang involvement, serious substance abuse, use of weapons, or large amounts of property damage or loss. If your child’s case does result in a Juvenile Court hearing, you will receive notification of that hearing by mail.
As a policy, the Probation Department does not provide copies of police reports to families. However, if appropriate, and in the vast majority of cases, the probation officer reviews the report with the family during their initial meeting.
Most referrals to the Probation Department come via the citation process, where the police officer believes a crime has been committed. They issue a citation, release the child to the custody of their parent, and refer the matter to the Probation Department. In some cases, the police believe that the child requires detention in Juvenile Hall. In all except for the most serious types of law violations, the Probation Department has the authority to release the child from custody, or to maintain the child in detention, prior to an appearance in Juvenile Court. The Probation Officer assigned to the case makes that determination, taking into account factors such as the seriousness of the alleged offense, the child’s previous history of law violations, and social factors indicating whether the child may be at risk to harm themselves or others, or to flee. If the Probation Department decides that a child ought to remain detained, that decision must be upheld by a Juvenile Court Commissioner, who reviews most cases within 48 hours of detention.
If your child is not already detained, it is unlikely they will become so as a result of the Juvenile Probation process. The Probation Department’s philosophy is to deal with youth in the least restrictive manner possible, meaning that the Department does all it can to avoid the application of a sanction such as detention. In some of the more serious cases, in which there is not a clear indication of the youth taking responsibility for their crime, or if there is concern that the child may harm themselves or others, the Court may order a child into the custody of Juvenile Hall. The vast majority of cases referred to the Probation Department do not result in any detention at Juvenile Hall.
The answer is no. If your child completes an informal probation plan there is no finding, or conviction, on your child’s record. If your child’s case goes to Juvenile Court, there is the possibility that there will be a finding, and that would constitute a conviction on your child’s juvenile record. Not all cases referred to Juvenile Court result in a finding. For more information on the possible consequences for your child’s juvenile record, please download, print, and fill out a copy of the form Request to Seal a Record.
If you and/or your child do not believe the charges are fair, then the informal process offered through the Probation Department will not function well for you. That process assumes some level of responsibility, and a willingness to "make amends" in some manner. Please contact your probation officer immediately if you are adamant that your child has no responsibility for the allegation, and if you are not willing to participate in any form of voluntary plan that involves sanctions or consequences. These matters will be referred first to the District Attorney’s office, to determine if they can file and prove any allegations in reference to your child’s citation. If they do not, the case will be dismissed. If they do file charges, the matter will be referred to Juvenile Court and you will receive a formal notification in the mail.
The purpose of your meeting with the probation officer is to arrive at a mutually agreed upon resolution to the citation your child received. The probation officer’s investigation will lead that person to suggest a plan for an appropriate disposition to the case. There may be some elements of that plan that are negotiable, some that are not; that all depends on the specifics of the crime and your child’s overall situation.
Please keep in mind that most successful cases in the Probation Department involve those in which the parent and the probation officer work cooperatively to seek a solution that best ensures the child will not receive more referrals.
There are different types or levels of probation, but they can best be understood in two different categories. There is formal probation, which is where there is a finding in Juvenile Court and the child is made a ward of Juvenile Court. Wards are generally on probation for at least one year. They are assigned a supervising probation officer who meets with them regularly, and they have convictions on their juvenile records. They also face the possibility of spending time in Juvenile Hall if they fail to comply with the terms and conditions of their probation plan. The second, and far more common form of probation, is informal probation, also known as diversion. This type of probation does not result in a conviction on your child’s record, by law can last no longer than 6 months, and the case is actually dismissed upon successful completion of the probation program.
Typical conditions of a probation program, either formal or informal, may include completion of community service work, counseling, drug testing, payment of fines, or completion of drug and alcohol treatment programs.
In all cases referred to Juvenile Court, your child must have legal counsel, either contracted privately by you, or through the Public Defender’s Office (their phone number is (415) 499-6321). If your child’s case will be handled informally, legal counsel is not required. However, you and your child should know that it is possible to be represented by an attorney at these informal hearings. During your interview with the probation officer, that person will review your child’s legal rights (the Miranda warning) and discuss any further concerns you may have regarding the advisability of contracting a defense attorney for this meeting.
The Probation Department does not believe there are bad kids; only children who occasionally do bad things. We believe strongly that what a child and family does after commission of an unlawful act is as important as the act itself. We have a variety of resources available to us to refer families to in order to provide assistance. As a matter of determining how well we perform our function, we track how many children are referred for a second time; it is in our best interests to create programs and situations in which your child is likely to succeed. We look forward to working with you, the parent, to ensure that you and your family get through what may be a stressful situation for you, and that your child does not have further referrals to the Probation Department.
If you qualify (please see the application for details) you can fill out the Record Sealing Application and mail or deliver it to the Probation Department Juvenile Sealing Clerk. The address is on the information document.
It will take approximately four to six months to complete the sealing process once the application is received. Once the Probation Department has finished its research, the sealing order will be sent to the Court for final processing.
Most definitely. The Juvenile Hall operates with around the clock supervision, utilizing trained, professional group counselor staff, in conjunction with both mental and physical health professionals. Juvenile Hall staff includes mental health professionals, a nurse from the Public Health Department, and a consulting psychiatrist from the Community Mental Health Department.
You can visit your child at any time within the first 24 hours of arrest. After that, visiting times are Saturday afternoon, from 2:30 PM to 3:30 PM, and Wednesday evenings, from 7:00 PM to 8:00 PM. Only parents or legal guardians are allowed to visit the youth detained in Juvenile Hall.
Unless your child has been charged in the adult court, there is no bail allowed for minors in the State of California. The decisions to initially detain a child, and then how long they will remain detained, depend on many factors. Any detention lasting longer than 48 hours (not including weekends and holidays) will go through Juvenile Court and will allow you and your child legal representation.
In order to get better idea of how long your child will remain detained, we urge you to contact the Juvenile Division Probation Department at (415) 473-6659, during normal business hours.
The Marin County Office of Education operates a school inside Juvenile Hall every school day of the year. All detained youth who are 18 years of age or younger attend this school. Youth who are detained for an extended period of time can arrange to have school work from their normal schools incorporated into the Juvenile Hall academic curriculum.
If your question is about your child’s stay in Juvenile Hall, such as specific concerns over their well-being, important information regarding their physical or mental health needs, or general questions about the operation of Juvenile Hall that are not covered in this brochure, please call the Juvenile Hall at (415) 473-6705.
If your questions pertain to the length of your child’s stay in Juvenile Hall, or the legal process including Juvenile Court and/or probation, please contact the Juvenile Division of the Probation Department at (415) 473-6659 during normal business hours.
Information on how to receive phone calls from inmates:
You can go to these links to establish inmate phone accounts, fund accounts or obtain refunds:
For questions about your account, you can call us at 1-800-943-2189.
All applicants must have a minimum 30-day sentence with no pending cases. You may not possess any weapons. Applicants who are currently on State Parole or AB 109 Supervision may not apply for County Parole. All applicants must be drug and alcohol free to qualify for County Parole supervision.
Participation is completely voluntary and you can choose to not participate at any time through-out the process.
There is absolutely no obligation to meet with the other party. A meeting is only held when both parties wish to meet. There are other methods of communication in which an agreement can be reached.
Every case is unique. We believe the best way to know how to address harm is by asking those involved, and directly affected by what happened, what they need. Parties participate in a restorative process to share and agree on the best form(s) of reparation to address the harm caused. For example, parties may choose to meet and discuss the impacts of the crime; they may choose to have a circle that includes other members of the community; they may agree on restitution, exchange of letters or video messages, agree on community services or projects, or choose to focus on victim assistance and/or ex-offender assistance, etc.
No. Although forgiveness can happen and be transformative for the participant, we believe that a person's decision to forgive is a personal one and should not be demanded or expected.
We accept cases where the accused has accepted responsibility for the harm cause and is willing to make amends. The program aims to provide diversion level services for the persons charged with lower level crimes in the adult system. It also offers restorative services to individuals who are currently on probation and to the victims of their crimes. Currently, we work with any misdemeanor or felony case with the exception of domestic violence.
Research on restorative justice has found that: a) victims who meet with their offenders are far more likely to be satisfied with the justice system's response to their case than those who go through the normal justice process; b) after meeting the offender, victims are significantly less fearful of being re-victimized; c) many victims and offenders experience positive effects on the physical/psychological health and their sense of support; d) offenders who meet with the victim are far more likely to complete their restitution obligation to the victim; and e) considerably fewer and less serious future crimes are committed by an offender who has gone through restorative justice process.