San Rafael, CA – Grant funding secured by the Marin County Probation Department will be focused on diverting low-level offenders from initial contact with the juvenile justice system by using new approaches that are evidence-based, culturally relevant, trauma informed, and developmentally appropriate.
Marin County Probation is the recipient of a Board of State and Community Corrections Youth Reinvestment Grant (YRG) worth $935,317 over three years. In accordance with the grant requirements, 90% of funding is required to be contracted out with local agencies that provide services. Probation will focus on the effective diversion of youths from underserved communities with higher rates of juvenile arrests.
“We feel fortunate to be able to bring these funds to the community and look forward to creating an enhanced system of care and support for youths to prevent them from entering our system,” said Juvenile Probation Director Eric Olson.
Prior to Probation receiving notice of the awarded grant, the Juvenile Probation Division had proposed and initiated an 18-month pilot project in partnership with San Rafael City Schools to address the overrepresentation of Latino youths on probation. The School Works Program, which starts this month, will focus on four sites within the school district with a goal of providing necessary support and services to an estimated 45 youths who may be having issues with excessive truancy, acting out, and/or poor academic performance.
“If we can provide necessary services and opportunities earlier, before there is an actual booking into Juvenile Hall or a referral to Probation, we believe more youths will steer clear of our justice system and lead a law-abiding life,” Olson said.
With the addition of the YRG funding, the School Works Program has been extended to a three-year program and can be expanded to additional schools. Probation’s goal is to provide intensive early intervention services to more than 200 young people over the next three years.
In addition, Probation plans to increase the range of diversion programs and services available to Marin’s youths via proposal solicitation process that will debut this month. The department will seek a broad set of new after-school and mentoring programs.
“We hope offering those programs will keep youths and their families engaged and supported from an earlier age, and eventually we will see a reduction in the numbers of underserved and overrepresented youths in our juvenile justice system,” Olson said.
Information regarding these processes will be on the Probation website and on its social media pages. Questions about these programs or notifications about RFP processes may be directed to Olson or Samantha Klein.