About the Probation Department

Chief Tamika Nelson


The County of San Diego Probation Department is an organization of highly skilled individuals with a shared mission to protect public safety by supporting their clients to restore their lives, families, and communities. Our team of more than one thousand San Diegans are dedicated to providing services while balancing support and accountability.

- Tamika Nelson


Service ~ Commitment ~ Compassion

Vision Statement:  To provide the highest quality of service through a continuum of services, family and community engagement, restorative practices, and employee-focused enrichment.

Mission Statement:  Through Probation team members and client-centered partnerships, we will stand in our values and become innovative through evidence-based and best practices in continuum of care, supervision, accountability, and a restorative practice philosophy within a culture of caring in promoting public safety.

Guiding Principles:

  • Public safety is our priority
  • Maintain fiscal stability
  • Promote a culture that values diversity, fairness & equity
  • Conduct business with transparency and accountability
  • Act with integrity
  • Continually challenge ourselves to enhance our knowledge and expertise

The Department is led by Chief Probation Officer Tamika Nelson and is committed to reducing recidivism and protecting community safety. 

Probation officers supervise more than 10,000 adults and juveniles in the community and approximately 200 youth in juvenile facilities. They provide clients with positive alternatives to crime and have assisted tens of thousands to live a law-abiding lifestyle. Probation officers also provide judges with vital background information to help them issue appropriate sentences and interventions for more than 10,000 individuals each year.

The San Diego County Probation Department’s objective is to create a positive approach in the way we engage our clients, and enhance our relationships with one another.

Probation has developed and provided Diversity and Inclusion Training to all employees in order to enhance exceptional customer service to the diverse clients we serve, and have fostered organizational awareness on Diversity and Inclusion concepts through employee training, community engagement, and continued innovation in our hiring practices. The Probation Department is committed to valuing diversity and practicing inclusion as our diverse workforce is our greatest asset. Delivering exceptional customer service to the clients we serve is our number one priority.

The Probation Department promotes awareness of the Customer Service Initiative which further enhances our efforts to deliver the County of San Diego's mission of providing exceptional customer service to all clients, and our vision of treating every customer with HEART – Helpfulness, Expertise, Attentiveness, Respect, and Timeliness.