California Public Records Act
The California Public Records Act (CPRA) generally allows access to public records responsive to a request, assuming there is no applicable exemption or other statutory or evidentiary privilege to withhold such records, pursuant to Government Code § 6250, et seq. To submit a CPRA request to the San Mateo County Probation Department, the request must be in writing and describe identifiable records, so the Department can conduct a search for responsive records. Please note the CPRA does not require the Probation Department to provide substantive answers to written questions, nor create new documents.
For California Public Records Act requests, send email to: email@example.com
San Mateo County Probation Department Facility Grievance
The San Mateo County Probation Department operates two juvenile facilities (Youth Services Center – Juvenile Hall and The Margaret J. Kemp Camp for Girls. These facilities provide housing and programming designed to help youth make positive and healthy choices when they return home and operate under the guidance of the Board of State and Community Corrections.
In order to facilitate communication and address any youth concerns, the Board of State and Community Corrections, Minimum Standards for Juvenile Facilities (2014), Title 15, Article 5, Section 1361 states:
§ 1361. Grievance Procedure.
The facility administrator shall develop and implement written policies and procedures whereby
any youth may appeal and have resolved grievances relating to any condition of confinement,
including but not limited to health care services, classification decisions, program participation,
telephone, mail or visiting procedures, food, clothing, bedding, mistreatment, harassment or
violations of the nondiscrimination policy. Policies and procedures shall include provisions
whereby the facility manager ensures:
- (a) a grievance form and instructions for registering a grievance, which includes provisions for the youth to have free access to the form;
- (b) the youth shall have the option to confidentially file the grievance or to deliver the form to any child care supervision staff working in the facility;
- (c) resolution of the grievance at the lowest appropriate staff level;
- (d) provision for a prompt review and response to grievances within a specified time limit;
- (1) The youth may elect to be present to explain his/her version of the grievance to a person not directly involved in the circumstances which led to the grievance.
- (2) Provision for a staff representative approved by the facility administrator to assist the youth.
- (e) provision for a written response to the grievance which includes the reasons for the
- (f) a system which provides that any appeal of a grievance shall be heard by a person not
directly involved in the circumstances which led to the grievance. Whether or not associated with a grievance, concerns of parents, guardians, staff or other parties shall be addressed and documented in accordance with written policies and procedures within a specified timeframe.
Note: Authority cited: Sections 210 and 885, Welfare and Institutions Code. Reference: Section 209, Welfare and Institutions Code
In accordance to the above, a copy of San Mateo County Probation Department’s Grievance Policy as well as the accompanying grievance form is seen below:
Office of Youth and Community Restoration (OYCR) Ombudsman Unit
SB 823/AB 1868 enacted in 2020 closed the Division of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) and transferred both the responsibility and funding to counties to supervise and serve youth that were formally in the custody of DJJ. SB 823 also created OYCR within the California Health and Human Service Agency. Amongst other responsibilities, SB 823/AB 1868 established an Ombudsperson within OYCR (Welfare and Institutions Code [WIC] section 2200(d).
Under SB 823/AB 1868 (WIC 2200(d)), the Ombudsperson under the OYCR has the authority to do all of the following:
- “Investigate complaints from youth, families, staff, and others about harmful conditions or practices, violations of laws and regulations governing facilities, and circumstances presenting an emergency situation;”
- “Decide, in its discretion, whether to investigate a complaint, or refer complaints to another body for investigation;”
- “Resolve complaints when possible, collaborating with facility administrators and staff to develop resolutions that may include training.”