Measure Z funds help staff Humboldt Co. Probation Department

EUREKA, Calif. - The Humboldt County Probation Department is adding more staff after receiving funds from Measure Z to help alleviate the high case load the department has.

The department will receive $600,000, which will help pay for the addition of six probation officers.

Bill Damiano, chief probation officer for the department, said by adding more staff, the amount of cases each probation officer takes on will go down. Without a heavy case load, the officers could take on a more active role with offenders.

"They can work more effectively with the offenders instead of spending all their time in the office doing reports and working with the court," he said. "They'll have more time to get out in the field and meet face-to-face with offenders and work with them intensively."

Damiano saw the additional staff as a positive with more outreach to offenders, especially ones considered high risk, which would help create a better community and help reduce recidivism.

The target is to have each officer handle 50 cases that involve high risk offenders. Damiano said five positions have been filled and are in the process of hiring the sixth officer.

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