More than 500 people assist the Orange County Probation Department by serving as volunteers through the "Volunteers in Probation" (VIP) program. Because probation officers have large numbers on their caseloads, typically 80 to 120 per officer, volunteers play an important role in supporting the work of probation officers and likewise are valuable as mentors and assistants at the five juvenile institutions run by the Probation Department.
Among the typical duties of VIPs are:
Serving as a case aide, to assist a Deputy Probation Officer with a caseload of probationers by checking school attendance, helping with clerical duties, and other activities under staff supervision.
Being a "big brother" or "big sister" to a young probationer, by providing tutoring or teaching the young person a skill.
Providing translation for Spanish-speaking or Vietnamese-speaking probationers or family members (and, to a lesser degree, translations in other Asian languages besides Vietnamese).
Visiting youths in juvenile institutions as a religious volunteer, or to cut hair, coordinate recreational activities and conduct arts-and-crafts projects.
Providing valuable resource information through service panels such as Alcoholics and Narcotics Anonymous and Alanon and as guest speakers providing presentations on peer pressure, anger management, gangs, and drug abuse.
Minimum Requirements for VIP Applicants
Must be at least 21 years old.
Must not be on formal or informal probation or parole for at least one year prior to application for VIP.
Must pass a background check.
Must not have used illegal drugs for at least one year.