County of Santa Clara is Awarded $3.1M Grant to Address Youth Weapons and Serious Crimes

PIVOT grant will improve programming at the James Ranch and services to youth  leaving in-custody rehabilitation facilities

SANTA CLARA COUNTY, CALIF. – The nationwide Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program, administered in California by the Board of State and Community Corrections, approved the allocation of a grant totaling $3,136,875 over three years. The new grant will allow the County of Santa Clara’s Probation Department to develop the Providing Individual Valuable Opportunities Together (PIVOT) project, which seeks to implement two core strategies to improve public safety and reach youth with the highest risks and needs through interventions that can transform their lives. The core strategies include enhancements to the programming at William F. James Ranch (which is the Probation Department’s intermediate term rehabilitation facility) and interventions that focus on addressing the actions of youth who have committed serious violent crimes or weapons crimes. The goal is to improve public safety by intervening early and preventing reoffending, thus reducing the human and financial costs of a lifetime of crime and imprisonment, while also focusing on the needs of victims of these crimes.

After sustained reductions in crime for over 10 years, Santa Clara County began experiencing an increase in serious offenses in 2017. It was determined that a small group of youth accounted for many offenses: 10 youth in 2017 were responsible for 135 referrals. Most SCC youth who commit serious violent offenses with weapons are sent to James Ranch (JR). Fewer are sent to the Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ). Importantly, a significant number of these youth are not previously known to the Probation Department (PD), are arrested after they have committed several offenses in a row, often commit offenses in a group, and are likely to be charged after arrest with “cold hits” linking the youth back to previous, unsolved crimes. A critical element of the program is the funding for a Senior Victim Advocate in the office of the District Attorney. This new position will focus exclusively on youth crime and its effect on victims.

The PIVOT project will focus on increasing protective factors and reducing recidivism among youth through intensive, individualized, trauma-informed, strengths-based, and gender and culturally responsive services in probation facilities and the community. This initiative recognizes the compounding systemic inequities and challenges faced by youth in the juvenile justice system, and is designed to help them develop the protective factors and improved coping skills they need to succeed. Interventions will include the development of a Credible Messenger mentoring program, host homes and reentry navigators, access to education and career opportunities, pro-social activities, and services to victims. The Probation Department anticipates that up to 285 youth residing at the James Ranch will benefit during the project time frame, as well as up to 125 youth participating in out-of-custody programs.

ABOUT THE COUNTY OF SANTA CLARA, CALIFORNIA

The County of Santa Clara government serves a diverse, multi-cultural population of 1.9 million residents in Santa Clara County, the sixth largest county in California. With more than 70 agencies/departments and nearly 22,000 employees, the County of Santa Clara plans for the needs of a dynamic community, offers quality services, and promotes a healthy, safe and prosperous community for all. The County provides essential services, such as public health and environmental protection; behavioral health and medical services through the County of Santa Clara Health System, including Santa Clara Valley Medical Center (Hospital and Clinics), O’Connor Hospital and Saint Louise Regional Hospital; child and adult protection services; homelessness prevention and solutions; roads, parks and libraries; emergency response to disasters; protection of minority communities and those under threat; access to a fair criminal justice system, and scores of other services, particularly for those members of our community in the greatest need.

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Media Contact: Mariel Caballero, Probation Department (408) 468-1863. 

PoSted: November 7, 2019

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