San Bernardino County is standing out once again as a leader in winning awards for innovative programs that provide first-rate service to the county community.

For 2023, the California State Association of Counties (CSAC) last week gave out only 13 of its highly competitive and sought-after Challenge Awards. Among 58 counties, San Bernardino County claimed two of the much-coveted awards, one for the Sheriff and Public Defender’s Parent and Child Connection program, and the other for Probation’s Juvenile Gun Deterrence Program.

“The Board of Supervisors is very proud of the work done by the County’s departments and employees in pursuit of our Countywide Vision,” said Board of Supervisors Chair and Third District Supervisor Dawn Rowe. “These and the many other awards the county organization wins for innovation, service and efficiency are a testament to how serious we are about consistently helping our residents and investors achieve prosperity and well-being.”

In addition to the CSAC awards, San Bernardino County claimed 160 Achievement Awards from the National Association of Counties this year, the most among America’s more than 3,000 counties for the second year in a row.

“Counties create, implement, and operate the most essential community services – often with little to no recognition,” said CSAC Chief Executive Officer Graham Knaus. “CSAC looks forward to honoring San Bernardino County’s programs and the people who made them possible. Thank you for your dedication to improving your community.”

The Sheriff and Public Defender’s Parent and Child Connection (PACC) is a collaborative program that provides an opportunity for incarcerated parents to record themselves reading a book to their child. The book and the recording are then sent to the child.

The program is designed to maintain and strengthen the parent/child bond and encourage literacy. Kids who are not able to read are less prepared for school, are at risk for poor language development, and are more likely to need remedial or special education classes. In turn, they are more likely to drop out of school, struggle to find employment, and may run a higher risk of living in poverty and ending up incarcerated themselves.

Probation’s Juvenile Gun Deterrence Program was implemented by the department’s Central Juvenile Supervision Unit in September 2021 to address an increase of youth on supervised probation for firearm-related crimes.

Youth in the program, their family members and other supportive persons in their lives, probation officers, and a representative from the County Department of Behavioral Health sit down and review the youth’s terms and conditions of probation, establish goals, highlight their strengths and weaknesses, and go over the classes they will be required to complete.

Through Behavioral Health, the youth are referred to Juvenile Justice Community Reintegration (JJCR) services, which encompass being assigned a case manager, referrals for weekly therapy sessions, drug and alcohol support services, and links to various other programs to allow the youth to be successful on probation.

Through the Probation Juvenile Day Reporting Center (DRC), the youth can be referred to classes such as Anger Management and Weapon’s Diversion along with community service events, building skills classes, or be enrolled at the community day school located at the Juvenile DRC.

Additional County Update News – December 15, 2023