Healthy and Safe Communities

Provide quality and equitable housing, health, and human services for all.

Goal 5, Objective 4

Expand detention alternatives with the goal of reducing the jail population, from pre-pandemic levels, by 15% at the end of 2022, while simultaneously reducing recidivism amongst the supervised offender population.
On Track 50%

Updated: January 2024

Summary of Objective Implementation Status 

Since the launch of the Adult Behavior Response System (BRS) in September of 2022, there has been some data to report, though reporting has been limited or not accurate for a variety of reasons that are being explored.

Upon the launch of the BRS, an interim tracking application was built to capture some of the data as there was not sufficient time or resources to implement a permanent application. As such, the temporary application was not able to track discretionary overrides. The BRS process provides for overrides to use a higher or lower intensity response depending on the circumstance surrounding the behavior. Probation implemented a manual override form, but data on the early override process are not available. In April of 2023, the permanent application was implemented and all data from the temporary application were transferred over. The new application provides support for the override approval process, and overrides are now being tracked through the system. An open business systems analyst position, which has remained unfilled for nearly a year, will take on data analysis and reporting to monitor the implementation of BRS and more thoroughly measure progress toward the BRS project’s goals in the coming months. This position is finally set to be filled in January 2024.

With respect to the Pretrial Services program, Probation continues to monitor hundreds of people each day on pretrial release who remain in the community pending resolution of their case. In Fiscal Year 22-23, the number of people who received a pretrial assessment (the Public Safety Assessment) by Probation increased by 26% compared to FY 21-22. The number of people released onto pretrial monitoring also increased by 5% compared to the prior fiscal year. With the sustained increase in workload, Probation transferred a vacant general funded Deputy Probation Officer II position from Juvenile Services to the Pretrial Services Program in the Spring of 2023. Only recently have all Pretrial Services positions been filled. Probation continues to explore ways to fund an additional Probation Assistant position.

Key Milestone Update 

There is initial data that the Probation Department is able to assess that includes the use of rewards and sanctions for clients for compliant and non complaint behavior. Based on limited ability to assess pre BRS and post BRS data, it is challenging to determine if the BRS has impacted the Jail population. However, average jail days per year for people on Probation’s supervision decreased by 6% in FY 22-23 compared to the prior year.  The BRS was implemented in the second quarter of FY 22-23, and we anticipate reduction in jail usage for Probation clients will continue to decline.  Additionally, utilization of Supervised Work Crews (SWC) has increased the last two fiscal years.  This alternative sanction reduces jail utilization, and the increase to the highest level of utilization in the last eight years coincides with Probation’s implementation of BRS.  Days of work for supervised individuals increased by 1,638 person days (23%) from FY 21-22 to FY 22-23.  This increase occurred even as Probation’s supervised population declined as a result of shortened time on supervision through AB 1950.

The implementation of the Probation Department’s Behavior Response policy meets a statutory requirement in allowing expansion of flash incarceration from the Post Release Community Supervision (post-prison) population to people on Formal Probation and Mandatory Supervision (following a prison sentence served in the local jail).  Flash incarceration means immediate detention in jail for up to 10 days without a court hearing, and is designed to provide a swift response to violation behavior with a very short stay in jail, compared with the delayed and much longer jail stays often resulting from the revocation process in court.  It may be used where the person has given consent at sentencing to accept flash incarceration for violations in lieu of the revocation process in court.  Future analysis will compare jail time connected with violations pre- and post-implementation of BRS, with the expectation that the BRS process should reduce reliance on detention for violations and effectively support law-abiding behavior.         

The Probation Department transferred a Deputy Probation Officer position to support the expanding needs of Pretrial Services.

Probation issued the RFP for the Case Management Consultant in October, 2023. Implementing a Case Management System (CMS), which provides crucial capabilities missing from the current CMS, is a foundational component of Probation’s work towards meeting this strategic plan objective. The existing CMS predates current technologies that would enhance the Probation Department’s communication with supervised individuals and the Community Based Organizations (CBOs).  



Coordination and Partnership Update

Probation continues to be in close communication with the Court and justice system partners since the roll out of the Behavior Management System. Probation gave its first data report on the implementation of the BRS to justice partners in June, 2023.

Probation continues to collaborate with Court partners through a monthly Pretrial Workgroup meeting, where implementation and program improvement issues are addressed. 

Community, Equity and Climate Update

Probation applies an equity lens through the validation and review of program data in relation to use of the Public Safety Assessment (pretrial risk assessment) as well as analysis of data regarding use of behavioral response grid/policy. Probation received the report on the updated validation study of the Public Safety Assessment (PSA), which identifies to what extent there may be differences in how the tool is performing across different racial/ethnic groups. The study includes anyone with a PSA completed from 7/1/20–1/1/22, who was released during the pretrial period, and who had their case resolved in that same time period.

Link to full report

We are collecting data on the behavioral response system which will enable us to detect whether racial inequities exist in our practices. Staffing limitations are preventing us from fully assessing the data at this time, but it is forthcoming.

Funding Narrative

Probation spent $129,000 on the Behavior Response System in FY 22-23 and $8,925 to date this fiscal year. $250,000 remain for the Case Management Consultant which will be selected by January, 2024.