About Us

History of the Probation Department


1883: The city of Riverside was incorporated.

1905: Legislation passed which authorized the position of County Probation Officer with salaries fixed by law.

1907: Riverside County Superior Court Judge F.E. Densmore appointed a group of citizens to select a County Probation Officer. In October 1907, Mr. B.W. Handy was appointed Chief Probation Officer and served until 1910.

1909: The Probation Committee agreed to establish a detention home in the Arlington area of Riverside adjacent to the county hospital. It was referred to as the Riverside County Detention Home.

1910: George Ross was appointed Chief Probation Officer and served until 1914.

1910: Riverside Juvenile Hall was established at Garfield and Harrison Streets as a detention home for youth. It opened on July 26, 1910, with Mr. and Mrs. S.B. Wilkins appointed as Superintendent and Matron, at a combined salary of $75 a month. Riverside County was the second county in the state to provide detention services, having been preceded by Los Angeles County in 1906. In 1926, through the cooperation of the Riverside City School Board, a school was established in the detention home program.

1913: The probation department handled 104 cases. Two commitments were made to George Junior Republic, two were made to Ione Industrial School, two youth were adopted and 35 cases were settled out of court.

1914: C.W. Matthews, president of the Probation Committee was appointed Chief Probation Officer and served until 1945.

1921: The Riverside County Detention home was renamed “Riverside Children’s Home.” Two additional changes occurred as follows: Dependent children were no longer committed to juvenile hall, but rather were placed in private boarding homes. Additionally, a six-foot fence was erected to “insure protection against marauders from the outside coming in.”

1929: F. Harold Butterfield was appointed Deputy Probation Officer.

1929: The Riverside County Probation Department established the first county boys training program, located in facilities adjacent to the county road camp.

1935: Eleanor Chapman was appointed Deputy Probation Officer.

1945: F. Harold Butterfield was appointed Chief Probation Officer and served until 1953.

1945: Plans began to establish Twin Pines Ranch on a site consisting of 320 acres purchased in 1947 for $32,000 to be shared equally by Riverside County and the California Youth Authority. On December 31, 1947, Twin Pines Ranch became a reality.

1948: On January 1, 1948, Twin Pines Ranch officially opened. On May 12, 1948, the first two resident boys arrived on the ranch.

1948: Riverside Juvenile Hall was built.

1949: A separate juvenile hall facility to house dependent children was completed. Mathews Cottage opens. Riverside County is the first in the state to completely separate dependent children from suspected law violators.

1953: Bert R. Van Horn was appointed Chief Probation Officer and served until 1975.

1953: Superior Court Department in Indio was established.

1955: The Indio Probation Office was officially established.

1955: A newly built Riverside Juvenile Hall was opened. Dependent children were housed in Mathews Cottage, adjoining the hall.

1958: Inception of the Informal Probation Program.

1958: The Board of Supervisors voted to purchase 800 acres of land adjacent to Twin Pines Ranch to expand the farm program and provide land for the younger boys training program.

1959: The Indio County Administrative Center was completed.

1961: The Juvenile Court Law underwent major revision, including provisions for appointment, upon request, of legal counsel in cases where an alleged delinquent act would amount to a felony in adult court.

1961: The Probation Committee became the Juvenile Justice Committee as provided by Section 225 of the WIC Code.

1964: The Riverside County Probation Department opened a subsidized receiving home for dependent children in Indio.

1971: The San Cayetano Motivational Center opened. It was located on the San Cayetano Ranch in Thousand Palms.

1972: The first diversion team became operational in the city of Riverside.

1974: Van Horn Youth Center opened as a residential treatment center for girls ages 13-18.

1974: The Hemet Probation Office opened.

1975: The Corona Probation Office opened.

1976: The Banning Probation Office began providing juvenile and adult services to the Pass area communities.

1977: Van Horn Youth Center was converted to a co-educational facility to include boys ages 13-15.

1978: The Palm Springs Probation Office opened.

1982: The Indio Detention and Treatment Center opened.

1985: Thomas J. Callanan was appointed Chief Probation Officer and served until 1997.

1987: The Riverside Juvenile hall facility began an expansion project in November. 40 beds were added.

1987: A psychological evaluation requirement is implemented in July for all regular peace officer staff pursuant to 1029 and 1031 of the Government Code. In 1988, the requirement was implemented for group counselors.

1988: Computers were installed in each of the seven adult services field offices.

1988: Twin Pines Ranch celebrated its’ 40 year anniversary.

1988: A ground-breaking ceremony took place for Safehouse; a collaborative effort of the Riverside County Probation Department, Advocate Schools, Inc., and Riverside County Schools.

1990: Indio Juvenile Hall added 50 beds.

1993: The Mid-County Division was established consolidating the Banning, Corona, Hemet and Temecula field offices.

1994: The Temecula Probation Office opened.

1994: The ground-breaking ceremony took place for Van Horn Youth Center.

1998: Marie Whittington was appointed Chief Probation Officer and served until 2007.

1999: The ground-breaking ceremony took place for the Phase IV expansion of Indio Juvenile Hall Detention and Treatment Center.

2001: Southwest Juvenile Hall was built.

2005: In a re-organization of the California Correctional Agencies, the California Youth Authority (CYA) became the Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) within the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

2007: Legislation (SB 81 and AB 191) require most youthful offenders to be committed to county facilities, reserving those convicted of the most serious felonies and having the most severe treatment needs to the Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ).

2007: Alan M. Crogan was appointed Chief Probation Officer and served until 2012.

2007: The Riverside County Board of Supervisors served a proclamation honoring the Riverside County Probation Department’s 100 years of service.

2010: Indio Juvenile Hall was refurbished, but no beds were added.

2011: The Riverside County Probation Department assumed responsibility for supervising specified lower level parolees from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation as a result of the Public Safety Realignment Act (Assembly Bill 109). AB 109 was signed into law on April 4, 2011, and transferred responsibility for supervision to counties in an effort to reduce the prison population. The Probation Department supervises these offenders and is an integral part of the Community Corrections Partnership Executive Committee (CCPEC). This committee, in conjunction with the court, public defender, district attorney, mental health, local police and the sheriff, is charged with the development of Riverside County’s realignment implementation plan.

2012: Van Horn Treatment Center was closed. New construction is scheduled for 2015.

2012: Mark A. Hake was appointed Chief Probation Officer.