Julie Wherry would like to work herself out of a job. As assistant chief probation officer for Sacramento County, she wants more people to understand that the dedicated officers and staff she works with are there to support the men, women and juveniles they supervise. Contrary to popular belief, she says the department’s focus is on getting people back on their feet instead of looking for ways to punish them further.

“We are in the profession of supporting positive change. We provide a lot of preventative services as well as a lot of support services,” she says. “We don’t want individuals on probation. … We want to provide opportunities for individuals to be successful so they don’t return to the system. Simultaneously, public safety is the No. 1 priority in our department, we want to keep the community safe, we want to be able to prevent victims.”

Read the whole article including “Here’s the reality: They’re going to come back out. They’re not getting the support services in jail as much as they would get if they were outside,” she says. “It’s a continuous cycle, so how do we change the outcome?”