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County of Sonoma Probation Department
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Juvenile Facilities

Sonoma County Juvenile Facilities

Sheralynn Freitas

Sheralynn Freitas

Deputy Chief Probation Officer

"For the direction and protection of our youth"

The Sonoma County Probation Department operates three facilities for young people in the juvenile justice system: the Juvenile Hall, Sierra Youth Center for girls and the Probation Camp for boys. While each of these facilities serves young people at different stages in the juvenile justice system, the common thread is an environment that allows the young people to confront and take responsibility for their criminal behavior and, in turn, to build on their strengths and develop skills in preparation for a successful return to the community.

Most all of the minors come into the system through the Juvenile Hall. They are at times angry and oppositional, anxious and fearful, or detached and depressed. They may attempt to hurt themselves or they may attempt to hurt their peers or staff. In truth, some of the minors are severely emotionally disturbed and extremely anti-social, while others are bearing the consequences of behaviors that are out of control. They are at a crossroad and it is an important time for them and their families.

Our challenge is to support and stabilize, and to create a structure that places expectations for respectful interaction, along with the daily disciplines of participation in educational and pro-social programs and activities.

Some of the minors are committed by the Juvenile Court to Sierra or the Probation Camp. These intensive programs concentrate on individual case plans that assist minors through their unhealthy and negative choices, provide therapeutic support for traumas and dysfunctional family dynamics, and resulting self-destructive behaviors. We provide strong educational and vocational programs to better prepare them for a smooth transition into their communities and then support that transition with aftercare staff and services that monitor initial activities and reinforce the positive progress made by the graduate and their families.

Our mission is to create opportunities for young people to successfully return to their community. To that end, we approach this challenge with a determination to provide troubled minors with consistent, caring and creatively structured environments that provide an opportunity to integrate constructive changes and positive choices with newly learned skills. This mission is accomplished by the dedication of our staff and our professional partners. It isn’t easy, but making a true impact on the lives of troubled minors is hard and rewarding work.

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