Justice Reform

Safety for All

An equitable and effective justice system is one that keeps us all safe — not just by enforcing the law but also by helping those involved with the system to become contributing members of our communities. That means giving young people education and self-worth; reaching out to understand people’s behavioral health or substance use problems; and defending and helping the vulnerable.

With that in mind, our justice system continues to shift toward prevention, rehabilitation, training and increasing diversity and equity. 

New milestones.

In the past year, we completed our new Youth Transition Campus in Kearny Mesa. The campus is designed to be less like a correctional facility and more like a therapeutic, rehabilitative center to provide young people the help and resources they need to succeed. 

We opened One Safe Place, a new family justice center in San Marcos to support survivors of domestic violence, child abuse, elder abuse, human trafficking and violence. Our Public Defender’s Office started a legal defense program for immigrants undergoing removal proceedings in federal court — to defend clients, represent immigrants and those in financial need. The Probation Department hired its first female Chief Probation Officer, Tamika Nelson, to lead the department. Nelson brings experience in expanding behavioral health services and community-based support services, and she led a committee to reduce racial and ethnic disparities in San Joaquin County.

"We all have battle scars from our past… these (reentry) services are there to help you, and they really want you to succeed and not go back to being locked up."

Angela C./Reentry Program

Investing in the future.

Moving forward, our new budget will spend additional money on our Alternatives to Incarceration initiative. The plan provides services and care, including mental health and sobering services, rather than jail time, to people who don’t pose a public safety threat. 

The budget will also spend $6.2 million to help youth who have committed more serious offenses by giving them more intensive, longer-term behavioral health, rehabilitative and skill-building services. And it will spend $140 million on additional health care services for our jails.


Weekly Average of Adults and Youth on Probation Supervision



Residents Served by Sheriff's Department



Inmate Bookings Processed



Mental Health Encounters
Conducted with Incarcerated People