High hopes for Butte County's new probation office

High hopes for Butte County's new probation office

CHICO, Calif. - Butte County's new Probation and Community Services office in Chico is expected to create a sea of change as the courses and training there help to better integrate probationers into life outside of jail and prison.

Before the office opened in February probationers had to travel to Oroville and Butte County Probation Chief Steve Bodin said the new office in north Chico should make for easier access to the people they serve.

"What we've done here by creating this building is we've opened up the avenues for communication and contact with all of our north county folks," Bodin said. "The barriers of transportation are no longer there."

Bodin also said their old facility lacked in resources and space.

"Our other facility in the past was very small. It was only for testing and occasionally meeting with our folks," he said.

The new office has much more to offer.

Of course there is still drug testing but now there is also a classroom and computer training to offer a more thorough integration into life beyond bars.

They're implementing what's called evidence based programming and it's the latest in rehabilitation.

"You will find that every probation department is some place along the continuum of evidence based program implementation," Bodin said. "We just happen to have a stunningly good probation department that are willing to embrace these things and we're moving forward at a rapid pace."

At its core, it's a more interactive approach that will reinforce proper behavior in family, the work place and beyond.

"We will impact criminal activity by training folks not to repeat the behaviors they've had in the past," Boden said.

And Bodin's hopes are high that it will be a huge success.

"What we will do and what we will end up with is a more safe community and less criminal activity in this area," he said.

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