Criminal Justice Conversations with David Onek: SF Chief Adult Probation Officer Wendy Still
In Episode #30, San Francisco Chief Adult Probation Officer Wendy Still discusses the importance of building partnerships with city agencies and community-based organizations, San Francisco’s plans to increase services as part of criminal justice realignment, the unique needs of female offenders, opportunities for women in the criminal justice field, and more.
Wendy Still Interview Highlights
Still on Building Partnerships:
“When we think of managing a criminal justice population, we typically think of the important partners such as the District Attorney, the Public Defender, the courts, the Police Department, and the Sheriff – but who we don’t typically think of and focus on is those other important agency partners such as the Department of Public Health, the Human Services Agency and the Office of Economic and Workforce Development. The population not only needs medical, substance abuse, mental health, they need work, they need jobs, and so in addition to the partners that I talked about from the criminal justice side of if, we need all those other social service type agencies to work in partnerships to create individual treatment and rehabilitation plans and have the services out there to match to what the clients’ needs are. In addition to that, the city and county, they can’t do it all. We have to work with important partners, such as community-based organizations that specialize in case management, delivering services, whether that’s employment related or whether that’s substance abuse related.”
Still on San Francisco’s Realignment Opportunities:
“The big opportunities I see for San Francisco (with realignment) are for us to create a continuum of services, and in fact that’s what our realignment plan does call for. I’m very proud of the fact the Mayor and the Board of Supervisors prioritized service dollars. So as part of our realignment funding, we dedicated almost a third of that funding to services. And so an opportunity that we have is to bring more services on-line, partnering with community-based organizations and those social service agencies -- workforce develpment, mental health, substance abuse and so forth -- to basically expand the services that are available. I’m very excited about that.”
Still on Opportunities for Women in the Criminal Justice Field:
“Law enforcement has been historically, traditionally, a male dominated occupation. I think that’s changed significantly over the past ten years and I would highly encourage both men and women to look for criminal justice as a career. And I would also send a special message to any women that were hesitant to go into it because they think that it may not be as good a work environment as they would like -- I think those days are over. And I think it’s because a lot of women have made some sacrifices and opened some doors. But now, walking into a criminal justice agency, it’s on the individual and the skills that they bring and their dedication on how successful they are, and I’m just very pleased to see where we’re at right now in the criminal justice workforce.”
The Criminal Justice Conversations Podcast with David Onek features in-depth, thirty-minute interviews with a wide range of criminal justice leaders: law enforcement officials, policymakers, advocates, service providers, academics and others.
The Podcast gets behind the sound bites that far too often dominate the public dialogue about criminal justice, to have detailed, nuanced conversations about criminal justice policy.
Podcast host David Onek is a Senior Fellow at Berkeley Law School and a former Commissioner on the San Francisco Police Commission.
You can find more information on the Criminal Justice Conversations Podcast and listen to all past episodes on the Podcast web site.
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