Juvenile Offenders To Satisfy Probation With Forest Service

As a form of juvenile probation, youthful criminal offenders in San Bernardino County are being diverted into a job training program with the U.S. Forest Service under the aegis of the county probation department, the San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
According to San Bernardino County’s chief probation officer, Michelle Scray Brown, “Since July 2001, the probation department and the San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools have collaborated to provide job training and employment through a special arrangement with the Forest Service in what has been called a fire sciences academy. This academy provides training and education for eligible juveniles from probation department treatment programs during their commitment period. Participants are not involved with live fire activity but are educated in fire science, fire prevention, and other job training skills. Participants provide special projects, routine cleaning and maintenance.
The participants also help to reduce fire hazards by removing excess debris and vegetation in mountain recreational areas pursuant to an annual operating plan. This arrangement between the department, the San Bernardino county Superintendent of Schools and the Forest Service was formally established through an agreement approved by the board of supervisors on June 18, 2013 and subsequently amended on October 21, 2014.”
Scray Brown continued, “Amendment No. 2 allows for reimbursement to the department for providing work crews to assist the Forest Service with fire prevention work and related special projects from October 1, 2015 and September 30, 2016. This amendment is recommended because it affords the department
with the continued opportunity to provide cooperative workforce, job training, and development activities for participating juveniles.”
As part of the amendment, $15,000 is being made available from the Forest Service, which is a division of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, to reimburse the probation department for providing work crews consisting of juveniles to assist with certain fire prevention work and related special projects from October 1, 2015 through September 30, 2016. The Forest Service will reimburse the department for work crew service in the amount of approximately $250 per day worked. Funds received by the probation department are transferred to a bank account that was established for the purpose of providing incentives for good participant behavior.

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