COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions
What is the San Diego County Probation Department doing to help prevent
the spread of COVID-19 in facilities?
To minimize the risk of COVID-19 within our institutions, Institutional Services has implemented the following precautions:
- Posting of Department signage outside each facility and inside the living units, restrooms, and kitchens.
- Interagency townhall meetings with Juvenile Court Health Services (JCHS) nurses to address concerns, answer questions and provide a plan as needed.
- All individuals and staff entering the facility must submit to a temperature check.
- For all new intakes entering the hall, Probation and our medical provider are checking the temperature and completing a screening that includes asking questions related to infectious diseases as part of the initial intake process. If any symptoms that are associated with COVID-19 are observed or if the youth has been in contact with someone who is ill or traveled to an area previously identified as a COVID-19 area of concern, the medical clinic is immediately notified.
- Youth and staff are wearing face coverings.
- Participation in frequent communication with the County’s Emergency Operations Center to share information and obtain COVID-19 updates from partner agencies.
- Preparation of a medical isolation unit within each facility.
- Probation has instructed janitorial services at facilities to ensure all bathrooms are cleaned daily and have readily available hand soap, paper towels, toilet paper, hand sanitizers and disinfectant.
- Janitorial services are bringing in staff to clean and disinfect common touch areas twice per day.
Is San Diego County Probation suspending visitations of youth in
To protect the health and safety of youth who are currently housed within the County’s juvenile halls and Urban Camp, the San Diego County Probation Department has suspended in-person visitations at facilities until further notice. These visits include after-court, special and weekend visits by family members and/or community-based organizations. Required legal visits will be held as scheduled and all court ordered visits will be honored. Youth in facilities will have extended phone privileges to maintain contact with family and loved ones. The San Diego County Probation Department has been a pioneer in the use of technology such as Skype and Facetime to enable video visitation. We have already increased our capacity for video visitation since the start of this event and we anticipate that we will be able to scale it up further in the coming days. Probation’s priority is to protect the health and wellness of staff and youth. This is solely a proactive measure developed in conjunction with our medical provider and the Board of State and Community Corrections. At this time the San Diego County Probation Department has not identified any infected staff or youth in its facilities.
If my child in a Probation Facility becomes ill with COVID-19, will I be notified?
Yes, the facility and/or our medical provider will contact a parent or guardian.
Have any other Probation services been suspended?
The Department is taking proactive measures to protect employees and program participants. At this time, Work Project crews have been suspended. Participants will be notified when program activity resumes.
Is the Probation Department releasing anyone early from Work
Furlough/Residential Reentry Center?
All Probation participants at Work Furlough (WF)/Residential Reentry Center (RRC) have been evaluated based on the nature and severity of the instant offense, health risks, availability of housing, assessed criminogenic risk or offense specific risk, victim safety, suitability for electronic/GPS monitoring, and prior failures to appear at Court hearings. In late March, those participants who had less than 30 days to serve at the WF/RRC were released pursuant to a court order.
Remaining participants continue to be evaluated for release on a WF/RRC Home Detention Program. Participants must wear a GPS device, which monitors them on a 24-hour basis and reports when they leave, return, or tamper with the equipment. The device is designed to be worn continuously for the duration of his/her sentence.
Probation does not have the authority to unilaterally reduce or eliminate an individual’s sentence. Therefore, Probation works collaboratively with the District Attorney, and Public Defender to review each client’s specific case using the criteria above and determine who is a good candidate for the Home Detention Program.
What to do if you have recently been released from state prison or jail?
- Upon release from custody please contact your assigned Probation Officer.
- If you do not have your Probation
Officer’s telephone number, please contact a regional Probation
- North Region: (760) 806-2333
- Central Region: (619) 515-8202
- East Region: (619) 441-3441
- South Region: (619) 498-2111
- If you are connected to voicemail, please ensure you provide accurate contact information to include your telephone number and address where you will be residing.
- If you need health or medical assistance, please call 2-1-1.
Is the Probation Department still supervising clients?
Yes. In light of the COVID-19 Pandemic, the Probation Department has been working diligently to adhere to the physical distancing and safety guidelines in place from local, state, and federal public health officials. Under this new mandate, Probation Officers are prioritizing contacts with these clients via telephonic and virtual means, while also providing our clients with vital resources, information and support. In doing so, our goal is to mitigate risk of exposure to our Probation clients, officers and the public in general while also ensuring for community safety. During these uncertain times, Probation officers are maintaining regular contact with Probation clients in the community to ensure adherence to conditions of supervision while also identifying and providing necessary support for clients reentering the community.
If an office or field visit occurs, officers and clients should follow the following guidelines:
- Maintain social distancing.
- Wear the appropriate personal protective equipment.
Given the above, we are constantly evaluating our operations and working to mitigate risk to our Probation clients, our employees and the public in general. As public health guidelines are revised, we will reimplement regular operations in a way that best supports our staff, clients and the general public’s health and well-being.
Where can I learn more about Coronavirus (COVID-19)?
Beware of scams, false news and hoaxes surrounding novel coronavirus. Accurate information, including announcements of new cases in San Diego County, will always be distributed by the County and Centers for Disease Control through press releases, official social media channels, and their website. The San Diego County COVID-19 website is an excellent resource.
Other reliable sources of information about novel coronavirus are:
- California Department of Public Health (CDPH, State)
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC, National)
- World Health Organization (WHO, International)
If you have questions and would like to speak to someone, call 2-1-1 which is available 24 hours a day.