OC Probation Department Volunteer Probation Officer
Pictured from left to right, Chief Probation Officer Steven Sentman & Volunteer Probation Officer Marilyn Jones.
ACTION: What does the volunteer do?
Volunteer Probation Officer (VPO) Marilyn Jones serves the youthful offender population of Orange County as case manager for MatchPoint® Orange County Mentoring/Re-entry Project. MatchPoint® is the volunteer aftercare component of Orange County Juvenile Probation Protestant Chaplaincy Ministry. In its role as a faith-based “inside/out” mentoring project, MatchPoint® is the only program of its kind in the United States. As case manager, Marilyn’s duties include directly supervising MatchPoint® matches (mentors/mentees); serving as liaison between Probation and MatchPoint® participants; providing important tech support for mentors, especially post-release of mentees; managing project statistics and data; and assisting the project director with screening and interviewing of potential mentors and mentees and co-facilitating specialized volunteer mentor training classes. Last year, Marilyn worked closely with MatchPoint® Director Jan Lowe and Senior Chaplain Steve Lowe to codify policy and procedures for MatchPoint® in cooperation with Probation and the Protestant Chaplaincy Ministry.
NEED: What community or agency need does the volunteer address?
Working in cooperation with the goals and needs of Orange County Juvenile Probation and with the focused purpose of helping reduce youthful recidivism by assisting with successful re-entry from incarceration back into their homes and communities, Marilyn helps provide critical transitional support for young offenders (mentees) involved with MatchPoint® programming. Especially in this time of fiscal crisis in every tier of our society and governance bodies, Marilyn’s expertise and background with both Probation and young probationers contributes a high quality of volunteerism to the department at absolutely no cost. In so doing, Marilyn represents MatchPoint®’s role as a significant part of the “Blueprint for the Re-entry of Young Offenders in Orange County, California” and the project’s collaborative role with the Orange County Workforce Investment Board, Orange County Probation Department and other re-entry focused entities.
IMPACT: What is different as a result of the volunteer's service?
The result and impact of this nominee’s service is grounded in Marilyn’s long and successful service record with Orange County Probation – she retired from the department in 2003, after a 31-year career with the department. As case manager with MatchPoint®, Marilyn brings a wealth of experience, expertise and efficiency in working cooperatively within the Probation system, understanding department policies and goals, as well as demonstrating time-proven competence and unique skills-set for dealing with youthful offenders. Marilyn’s contribution to MatchPoint®’s supportive role with youth returning home after incarceration is helping to establish MatchPoint® as part of the permanent services landscape of Orange County.
INSPIRATION: What makes the volunteer unique/special?
Part of the uniqueness of Marilyn’s volunteerism is that as a retired probation officer, she has chosen to return to the same troubled, broken youthful population she worked with for 31 years – a population for whom she has enormous affection and commitment. Marilyn is doing this by dedicating precious hours and energy to again serve probation youth by assisting them transition out of a life of delinquency and crime. She actively encourages them to move forward, providing troubled youth with the tools to discover a more mature, productive and successful future.
Marilyn is an exceptional team player who is deeply committed to working collaborative to redirect the lives of troubled youth. She became a VPO with the Protestant Chaplaincy Ministry in September 2004. Since that time, she has made a dramatic impact within the community by contributing more than 1,200 volunteer hours to the MatchPoint® Orange County Mentoring/Re-entry Project.
Thank you and congratulations to Marilyn Jones, recipient of the 2011 Excellence in Volunteerism Award!
Click here to find out how you can volunteer with the OC Probation Department.