Information updated November 11, 2006

Juvenile and Adult Probation

Adult and juvenile probation are administered at the county level. Each of California’s 58 counties has a probation department that handles both adults and juveniles, except San Francisco, which has separate departments for adults and juveniles.

The state of California sets the firearm standards for training and arming. It is within each county’s discretion to determine which officers, if any, carry firearms. California’s arming policy was adopted in the early 80s due to probation being added to multi-agency drug task forces.

In 1988, San Diego County was the first county to be armed. Of the 58 counties in California, all but 9-10 of the San Francisco bay area counties are armed. Los Angeles County, which recently approved arming, is in the process of training and purchasing firearms.

Officers are armed by function. Therefore, it is mandatory for certain officers to carry firearms. For example, in San Diego County the special operations division, which includes adult and juvenile gang suppression units, home supervision, and a number of armed probation officers working with police on various task forces aimed at violent probationers, are armed.

Officers are classified as limited peace officers per California Penal Code 830.5 and peace officer status is limited to hours of duty (during the course and scope of employment). Officers do have the power to arrest or take into custody and are required to undergo psychological testing.

Standardized statewide training and re-qualification is required. Each county arranges its own firearm training, typically done by the Sheriff. However, some counties, such as San Diego County, have their own firearm instructors.

Each county requires officers to carry a specific type of firearm. For example, San Diego County requires a 9 mm, which they provide. If an officer wishes to provide the firearm, it must be approved and inspected by the Range Master, Director of Special Operations.

There are no private companies providing community supervision services.

Juvenile Parole
 Information updated October 19, 2005

The Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, Division of Juvenile Justice, under the jurisdiction of the executive branch, oversee the aftercare (parole) supervision services.

There is a department-wide firearm policy that can be found in Section 2800, of the Parole Services Manual. For Field Parole Agents hired after January 1988, it is a mandatory condition of employment to be armed, while on duty. Field Agents will attend and successfully complete firearms training as specified in California Penal Code Section 832. A departmentally issued firearm will be provided to the field agent for on duty use only. Field Agents are permitted to be armed off-duty if they purchase a departmentally approved, personal firearm and have attended training for, and qualified with the approved personal firearm. In cases where the field agent purchases a personal firearm and has been trained and qualified, the field agent is allowed to carry the firearm while on and off duty. For Field Agents hired prior to 1988, firearm training is optional and not required. These field agents may attend firearms training and choose to carry the departmental issued firearm on duty only. These field agents may also choose to purchase a personal firearm for on and off duty use. Nearly all of the Juvenile Parole Divisions Field Parole Agents carry a firearm. In California, Field Parole Agents supervise offenders up to 25 years of age.

The Field Parole Agent is classified as peace officers and has the power to arrest and detain parolees and persons who may be interfering with the parole agent during an arrest of a parolee. Psychological testing is a part of the initial hiring process for the field parole agent position.

California Department of Youth Authority Range Masters who have been certified through the FBI’s Range Masters Training Course provides firearm training. All Range Masters are required to proficiently pass.

A list of firearm options is provided to field agents. Field Agents may carry a departmentally issued .38 caliber special revolver or they may purchase a firearm from the approved list at their own expense. Field Agents can carry a 9mm semi-automatic with additional training provided by the department.

There are no private companies providing juvenile parole supervision services.

Adult Parole
Information updated December 6, 2005

The Division of Adult Parole Operations, a state Executive Branch agency within the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, provides for the supervision of adult parolees released to the community after completing the court mandated period of time in custody in a state institution. The parolees are provided services and referrals to agencies to assist in their successful reintegration.

Carrying a firearm is mandatory for parole agents hired after 1988. They are classified as peace officers and do have the power to arrest. Psychological testing was instituted in 1988 for all newly hired peace officers.

The Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, Division of Support Services-Office of Training and Professional Development provides training. All parole agents hired after 1988 and those hired before 1988 who want to carry a firearm are required to take and proficiently complete firearm training. Parole agents must then qualify with the firearm on a quarterly basis. The fourth quarter is always a night range.

Agents are now required to carry a state issued .38 revolver or 9mm. Parole agents may carry their own departmentally approved 9mm.

There are no private companies providing adult parole supervision.

For updates or corrections to the information on this page, please contact: Diane Kincaid