What does the Juvenile Justice Commission do?

  • Advocate for the safety and well-being of dependent and delinquent youth in Sonoma County.
  • Inspect annually all group homes in Sonoma County and the juvenile detention facility (Juvenile Justice Center/JJC). Inspections are done to ensure residents are treated with dignity and respect, are safe and treated in a humane manner, and that their education, social, and recreational needs are met.

What types of things do you do when inspecting a group home?

We inspect the physical grounds and home for adherence to State-mandated services. A report is written summarizing our findings. Our inspection includes:

  • That the home is a safe, clean, and comfortable place to live.
  • That youth are provided with nutritious, balanced meals and that they have a supply of fresh and packaged food for a specified period of time.
  • That the youth are attending school.
  • That the program structure is clearly articulated, procedures and expectations are understood, and that the grievance policy is articulated and understood.
  • That court mandated counseling and medication are administered and that the progress of the resident is reviewed regularly.
  • That the residents’ health needs are met and that services are provided as necessary.
  • We check the interaction between the staff and residents.
  • We confidentially interview residents to understand their perception of the home, the staff, and the program.

Who receives a copy of the report once an inspection is completed?

  • Group home inspection reports are sent to:
  • Judge of the Sonoma County Juvenile Court
  • Commissioner of the Juvenile Court
  • Probation Department, Chief of Probation
  • Department of Social Services
  • State of California, Community Care Licensing
  • Facility Inspected

County facilities reports are sent to:

  • State of California, Board of State & Community Corrections
  • Judge of the Sonoma County Juvenile Court
  • Commissioner of the Juvenile Court
  • Probation Department, Chief of Probation
  • Probation Department, Director
  • Facility Inspected

What response is required from the people or organizations that receive the reports (are the group homes and the Juvenile Justice Center required to respond to your findings)?

No, no response is required.

Are foster care homes inspected by the commission?

Foster care homes do not fall within the purview of the commission and are not inspected by us.

How does someone become a Juvenile Justice Commissioner?

Interested parties can complete and submit an application which can be found on the Become a Commissioner page on this site.  This website also has information on what we do and the responsibilities of a commissioner.

How are applicants vetted?

Once an application is received, applicants are interviewed by commissioners and references are checked.
Upon completion of the application process, the commissioners vote on the acceptance of the candidate.
If accepted, the candidate is sworn in by a Judge of the Juvenile Court.

Are your meetings open to the public? If not, why?

Our meetings are not open to the public. As an adjunct to the judicial branch of government, we are not subject to the open meeting requirements of the Brown Act.  Anyone wishing to address the commission during a regular meeting can submit a request to do so.