The Probation Department extends heartfelt appreciation to the members of the community who have provided face coverings to the County. We thank you for your support!



Welcome to the
Santa Cruz County Probation Department

Santa Cruz County’s award-winning Probation Department improves the community by helping families and individuals restore their lives and look forward to a brighter future.

Regarded as a nationwide leader, the department promotes public safety and productive lives at all phases of the criminal justice system by focusing on evidence-based practices, custody alternatives and the humane treatment of youth and adult clients.

The Department operates as an arm of the Court, and is responsible for services required by the Adult and Juvenile Courts, including pretrial assessments, probation, post-trial alternative custody and juvenile detention. The department is divided into three divisions: Adult, Juvenile, and Institutions (Juvenile Hall).

In 1999, we became a model site for the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative, which has since been replicated nationwide, saving millions and resulting in dramatic reductions to unnecessary youth incarceration. We have also been a leader in criminal justice reforms following AB 109, and in 2013 were chosen as one of three pilot sites nationally to roll out a Laura and John Arnold Foundation risk-assessment tool for those entering the criminal justice system.

We also sponsor the nationally recognized Azteca Youth Soccer Program, which brings together at-risk youth, often from competing gang affiliations, in a productive environment that encourages understanding through teamwork.

Our department acknowledges the important role which crime victims play in the justice system, and hopes to work with crime victims and offenders to move towards helping to repair the harm caused by crime. Where appropriate, our voluntary Victim/Offender Dialogue Program offers a chance for offenders and victims to come up with a mutually agreeable plan that addresses the harm caused by the crime.

Our VISION is a safe and thriving community with justice for all.

Our MISSION is to promote public safety, reduce recidivism, and support victims and all those impacted by crime. In partnership with our community, we provide balanced supervision, accountability, and opportunities for positive change through results driven practices.


  • Creativity and Innovation: We believe creativity and innovation are fundamental for positive change.
  • Dignity and Respect: We value all people and believe they should be treated fairly and with compassion.
  • Diversity: We embrace the diversity within our Department and our community and strive to be responsive to the unique needs of all.
  • Integrity: We will adhere to the highest moral and ethical standards in our duty to serve the community.
  • Teamwork: Our staff and their collective efforts are our greatest asset and resource.

Santa Cruz Probation Department Strategic Plan 2016 - 2021

JDAI Model Site Information