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Nevada Co Juvenile Probation Caseloads Down

A new report says the current juvenile probation system just doesn’t work. The Annie E. Casey Foundation says the system should be revamped, to focus on helping kids rather than punishing them and making them comply with a maze of rules. But Nevada County’s Chief Probation Officer, Mike Ertola, says his department already has a number of diversionary strategies in place for non-violent offenders…

click to listen to Mike Ertola

Ertola says eight years ago Nevada County had an average daily population of about 20 juvenile detainees. That’s now down to five. The Foundation suggests dirverting the massive caseloads of nonviolent youths in California to more focused programs aimed at positive behavior changes, rather than punitive measures. Ertola says they already have such programs that are working for Nevada County…

click to listen to Mike Ertola

Ertola says total caseloads for juveniles on formal or informal probation in the county has dropped from around 175, eight years ago, to only around 45 now. The Foundation notes that many kids who commit low-level crimes are dealing with significant challenges at home, such as poverty, domestic violence, and drug abuse.

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