Mono County

Juvenile Probation

The Mono County Probation Department Juvenile Division’s main goal is to prevent and rehabilitate.  There are an array of programs and services that the Probation Department uses to assist with the prevention of criminal behavior or to rehabilitate those juveniles who are on probation.  The Juvenile Division handles matters pertaining to juveniles up to the age of 18, unless the Juvenile Court has chosen to maintain jurisdiction up to the age of 21.  

Incentives and Sanctions Model 

A risk-based Incentives and Sanctions program is an evidence-based intervention where supervising officers apply sanctions or rewards in response to specific behaviors of the offender. The goal is to increase positive behavior change related to behavior such as reducing drug use or applying for jobs.

How Does It Work?

Incentives, or rewards, are provided to individuals to reinforce specific, target behaviors such as attending substance abuse treatment, remaining abstinent, submitting clean drug tests, and meeting other case plan goals. Incentives can include reporting by telephone instead of in person, bus tokens, gift cards, or genuine praise from their probation officer. Social rewards can be as effective as monetary rewards. To decrease the frequency of an undesirable target behavior such as missing an appointment or testing positive, officers can apply a punishment from the graduated sanctions and incentives offense matrix that is provided to the minor at the initial intake process with the probation officer.  Sanctions can include more frequent drug tests, electronic monitoring, or a short stint in the juvenile hall.

Why Does It Work?

Rewards and sanctions, or contingency management programs, are based on the theory of operant learning, which explains that human behavior is learned through the consequences that result from our actions. Behaviors that result in positive consequence will be repeated. Therefore, behaviors that are reinforced or rewarded are more likely to increase, and behaviors that are punished are more likely to decrease over time.

 

American Probation and Parole Association and National Institute of Corrections