SANTA CLARA COUNTY, CALIF. — Today, County Executive Jeffrey V. Smith announced the appointment of Laura Garnette to the post of Chief Probation Officer for the County of Santa Clara, effective immediately. Garnette is a 25-year veteran in the field of probation, most recently serving as Deputy Chief Probation Officer assigned to the Juvenile Services Division.
“Garnette has played a key role in the County’s overhaul of its juvenile justice programs and services,” said Smith. “She is a knowledgeable, seasoned manager who has learned the workings of probation from the ground up and demonstrated her leadership abilities.”
Garnette began her criminal justice career as a Deputy Probation Officer in 1989 for Santa Cruz County. Ten years later, she was promoted to Assistant Division Director where she supervised the staff and was responsible for the day-to-day operation of a 24-hour locked detention facility. She served in that capacity until 2002, when she was promoted to Probation Division Director. During her tenure in that role, she had responsibility for three probation divisions: Juvenile Hall, Juvenile Services, and Adult Services.
In 2010, Garnette was recruited to serve as Deputy Chief Probation Officer for Santa Clara County. She has played a key role in reforming and enhancing the Juvenile Division. This has included the acquisition of numerous competitive grants, which enabled the County to fund innovative new practices, including a $750,000 two year grant from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention to serve the highest risk youth re-entering the community from the local Ranch Camp or long stays in Juvenile Hall; and a $300,000 grant from the Corrections Standards Authority to implement evidence-based practices in an effort to reduce recidivism for juvenile offenders.
Garnette also is a part of the team - that includes the Department of Family and Children’s Services, the Courts and system and community stakeholders - working to develop and implement true system change and cutting edge responses to youth who have experienced maltreatment and who also have contact with juvenile justice.
Garnette facilitated the designation of Santa Clara County as one of two model sites nationally for the treatment of LGBT youth in the juvenile justice system. She also helped to lead a significant reorganization of prevention and early intervention services which resulted in increasing in-home WRAP-around services by more than 500 percent, and decreasing group home placements by 200 percent.
“I am deeply humbled and honored to have been given the opportunity by the County Executive to serve Santa Clara County as the Chief Probation Officer,” said Garnette. “The Probation Department has an innovative and committed staff, a strong and effective management team and tremendous support from our community and system partners. I look forward to working collaboratively with all of our stakeholders to ensure that our community receives the best possible service.”
Garnette earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from the University of California Santa Cruz in 1989 and a Master of Public Administration degree from San Jose State University in 2006. Laura and her wife have two children ages 11 years and 13 years. Her salary will be $165,986.
Posted: June 3, 2014