The Sonoma County Sheriff's Office Detention Division is responsible for the for the processing, care, and management of individuals held in lawful detention. With a staff of over 300 employees, the Detention Division is committed to serving the people of the State of California and County of Sonoma by providing a secure, safe, and humane environment for both the staff and inmates.
The Detention Division's goals in support of this mission are:
- To comply with California Minimum Jail Standards and all other applicable federal, state, and local laws and the standards set forth by the California Medical Association;
- To apply the principles of direct supervision as developed by the National Institute of Corrections;
- To develop and support staff through constructive supervision, leadership and training, and maintenance of high employment standards;
- To offer inmates an opportunity for rehabilitation through participation in religious, educational, recreational, vocational, and work programs;
- To release inmates back into the community in better condition medically & psychologically than when they came into custody;
- To manage our resources in a professional, efficient, and cost effective manner;
- To foster a custodial environment that supports positive inmate behavior and provides discipline for misconduct.
This mission will be fulfilled through the Division's commitment, dedication, and best efforts.
The primary duties of a Correctional Deputy are the supervision and care of inmates while in custody. In addition to these duties, there are a variety of other assignments and specialty positions a Correctional Deputy can work. These positions are either incorporated into their daily assigned positions, or are three- year assignments. These positions include:
Central Control Deputy
Central Control is the alarm and control center for the facility. A Central Control Deputy must successfully complete a training program and possess excellent multi-tasking skills. A Central Control Deputy integrates, coordinates, and monitors all security, safety and communication systems in both the Main Adult Detention Facility and the North County Detention Facility, to ensure order, security and safety for staff, inmates and visitors.
A Classification Deputy is responsible for performing risk assessment on inmates and assigning them to appropriate housing accordingly. Classification Deputies review all available information about inmates such as charges, past in-custody behavior and gang affiliation, and make independent decisions that affect the safety and security of staff, inmates, and the facility. In addition, Classification Deputies review, document inmate behavior, monitor the status of inmates in special housing, respond to emergencies, monitor population levels and initiate housing changes and transfers.
Contact Visiting Deputy
A Contact Visiting Deputy is responsible for coordinating contact visits and interviews with professional visitors for inmates. They also monitor all contact visits to ensure the safety of the visitor in the facility. In addition to these duties, the Contact Visiting Deputy conducts numerous tours of the facility for educational institutions.
Court Holding/Movement Deputy
A Court Holding/Movement Deputy is responsible for the movement of inmates to and from court holding cells. While inmates are waiting to go to court, Court Holding/Movement Deputies supervise and monitor the behavior and actions of inmates staged in the court holding cells. When inmates are finished with court, Court Holding/Movement Deputies escort them back to their assigned housing.
Crisis Negotiations Deputy
The Detention Division has a Crisis Negotiations Team that is comprised of two Correctional Sergeants and four Correctional Deputies. The team is deployed as part of the Sheriff's Office Special Operations Unit during major crisis situations involving suicidal subjects, barricaded subjects and hostage situations and is utilized both inside the Main Adult Detention Facility, North County Detention Facility and in the community. Their role is to attempt to build a rapport with the involved person(s) and bring the situation to a peaceful resolution.
Detention Alternatives Deputy
The Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office offers qualified inmates the opportunity to participate in the Electronic Monitoring Program. The Detention Alternatives Deputy works independently with inmates that qualify for this program. This program allows for the privilege of serving court ordered sentences in a non-traditional manner. In lieu of incarceration, inmates are afforded the opportunity to continue education and/or employment enabling them to support themselves and their families. Not all inmates are acceptable for the Electronic Monitoring Program. A thorough background investigation is completed on each applicant to assess any apparent threat to the community or likelihood of re-offending. The goal of the program is to allow inmates the potential to remain productive members of society while maintaining the safety of the general public, staff and participating offenders.
Disciplinary Grievance Deputy
A Disciplinary Grievance Deputy is responsible for issues arising from inmate misconduct. Disciplinary Grievance Deputies investigate allegations of inmate misconduct, investigates and responds to inmate grievances, and conducts disciplinary hearings on inmates. In addition, Disciplinary Grievance Deputies may investigate inmate claims arising from incarceration.
Facility Training Deputy
The Facility Training Program is a program designed to train new Correctional Deputies in the operations of the facility. This program is fourteen weeks long with four phases and is structured to smoothly transition new employees into a solo Correctional Deputy. Most new Deputies will do an additional phase at the North County Detention Facility. The phases are three to five weeks long with different training Deputies on varying shifts. During the first two phases the new employee is trained to become familiar with the facility, post order operations, and policy and procedures. The last two phases are for the new employee to apply what they have learned, and work as a solo Deputy with the training Deputy "shadowing" them. The new employees receive evaluations of their performance daily and at the end of each phase. Upon successful completion of the training program, the new employee graduates and begins working completely solo.
Gang Intelligence Deputy
The primary responsibility of the Gang Intelligence Deputy is to identify inmates at both the MADF and NCDF who are members, associates, or affiliates of street or prison gangs. They will also provide training to detention division staff by teaching in-service training and on-the-job training classes in gang awareness and gang updates. Additionally, they investigate any inmate behavior, activity, or incident reflecting gang behavior or involvement.
The Detention Division has one Correctional Deputy with the collateral assignment of K-9 Handler. They are responsible for coordinating and participating in searches in both MADF and NCDF facilities. The canine and handler train alongside patrol canines. Prior to being put into service, the canines and their handlers are trained in narcotic detection and the detection of jail contraband. The dogs live at home with the Deputies and are subject to K-9 call-outs after hours.
Male Special Core Deputy
Male Special Core Deputies are Correctional Deputies that are trained to work in the male special module. Inmates in this module are highly sophisticated, demonstrate aggressive behavior, pose a threat to staff and other inmates alike and have proven they are unable to abide by the rules and regulations of the facility. The male special module is a maximum-security area and is designed differently than any other module. This module is staffed with multiple Deputies on each shift. This is due to the number of Deputies needed for safety around certain high-risk inmates. Safety for staff and inmates within this module, as well as the rest of the facility, is top priority.
Mental Health Core Deputy
The MADF has modules that house inmates who are under frequent mental health supervision. Each inmate in these modules has an internal behavior code (IBC) that describes their ability to function within the module. Correctional Deputies that show an interest in becoming a Mental Health Core Deputy are selected by the Mental Health Sergeant and attend in-house training and updates. Working within the mental health modules requires excellent communication skills, patience, tolerance, and good officer safety.
Policy & Compliance Deputy
A Policy and Compliance Deputy is responsible for maintaining Policies and Procedures throughout the Detention Division. The Policy and Compliance Deputy is responsible for scheduling, preparing and conducting audits with the Institute for Medical Quality (IMQ), Board of State Community and Corrections (BSCC) and Environmental Health Inspections. The Policy and Compliance Deputy is also responsible for performing monthly and quarterly audits of various detention operations.
Pre-Trial Deputies collect and analyze risk assessment data in order to make recommendations to the courts regarding pre trial release of inmates from custody. Pre-Trial Deputies prepare reports to make recommendations to the court concerning conditions of release, and recommended supervision of defendants who are released from secure custody during the pretrial phase of their court process. Pre-Trial Deputies work in collaboration with the Probation Department.
The Detention Division also offers a variety of classes and programs to inmates who are eligible. A Program Deputy is responsible for carrying out the direct coordination, scheduling, and support of organized inmate programs. These classes are held in classrooms at the MADF and NCDF and may include but are not limited to:
- Alcohol/Drug Awareness
- Anger Awareness/Management
- English as a Second Language (ESL)
- General Education (GED)
- Book Club
- Parenting Class
- Bible Study
- Art Class
- Religious Services
- Correspondence Courses
- Independent Study
- Interfaith Meditation
- Job Skills
- Life Skills
- Literacy Tutoring
- Non Violent Communications
- Read Me A Story
- Regional Occupational Program - Agriculture
- Service Dog Training Program
- Starting Point Program
- PATHS Program
Many inmates enjoy taking classes and those who have not received their high school diploma receive a graduation ceremony, including a diploma, upon their successful completion of the general education program.
Specialized Emergency Response Team (SERT)
The Sonoma County Sheriff's Office Detention Division's Specialized Emergency Response Team (SERT) was founded in 1987. Today, a team of Correctional Deputies, are extensively trained in self-defense, cell extraction, the use of specialized equipment, and crowd control techniques. Supervised by one Lieutenant and two Sergeants, the SERT team trains monthly to keep updated on numerous tactics incorporated with emergency response.
A Correctional Deputy is assigned as the Division Training Coordinator and is responsible for coordinating all annual mandatory training required by the Board of State and Community Corrections (BSCC) for the Detention Division. The Detention Division Training Coordinator follows the Standards and Training for Corrections (STC) by scheduling entry level and annual training for staff assigned to jail facilities subject to state mandated training requirements per the Board of State and Community Corrections (BSCC). Staff assigned to courts and temporary holding facilities are assisted by the unit as well in meeting training requirements. The Training Coordinator also provides and hosts various in-house courses for staff, and participates in the Bay Area Training Officers Association. In addition, the Training Coordinator prepares quarterly reports, and annual financial reports.
In addition to Correctional Deputies, the Sheriff’s Office employs many other job classifications to fulfill the mission of the Sheriff’s Office within the Detention Division, to include;
Chefs & Cooks
In partnership with Trinity food services, Detention Chefs & Cooks plan, coordinate and provide inmates and correctional staff with nutritious meals. Chefs & Cooks supervise inmate work crews that assist with kitchen and food preparation. All meals are prepared on site in a state of the art industrial kitchen.
Detention Assistants are assigned to work in clothing, jail stores, commissary and laundry and the Main Adult Detention Facility and North County Detention facility. Detention Assistants maintain quality control in managing inventory and global assets. Detention Assistants transport inmates between facilities as well as supervise inmate work crews in laundry and jail stores.
Janitorial staff keep our Detention Division looking impeccable. They maintain high quality janitorial services and are readily available when needed.
Legal Processors assigned to the Main Adult Detention Facility or North County Detention Facility maintain customer service in the lobby and cashier booth, enter data and maintain files in records, mail, booking, Classification and Detention Alternatives Units. Legal Processors enter and maintain custody data and files, receive court minutes, process bonds, citations and releases.