County Chief Probation Officer appointed to state board by Governor

VENTURA, Calif. – Mark Varela, Ventura County Chief Probation Officer, has been appointed to the Board of State and Community Corrections by Governor Jerry Brown. The appointment became official on June 28, and Varela must be confirmed by the State Senate within the next 12 months.

Varela’s three-year term will officially begin on July 2. The Board of State and Community Corrections is an independent statutory agency that provides leadership to the adult and juvenile criminal justice systems; expertise on Public Safety Realignment issues; and offers technical assistance on a wide range of community corrections issues.

“I am deeply honored to receive this special appointment from the governor,” said Varela. “I believe my nearly 30 years of experience in the fields of probation and corrections – at both the county and state levels – will be beneficial to the BSCC and the people of California. I’m excited to begin my term as a member of this important board and as a representative of the California probation profession.”

The BSCC’s work involves extensive collaboration with stakeholders, including local probation departments, sheriffs, county administrative offices, justice system partners, community-based organizations, and others. The BSCC sets standards and provides training for local adult and juvenile corrections and probation officers. It is also the administering agency for a host of federal and state public safety grants, including evidence-based practices to fight gangs, and it works to address the over-representation of youth of color in the juvenile justice system.

Varela is a native of Ventura County now living in Camarillo and attended local schools. He holds a bachelor’s degree in law and society from the University of California, Santa Barbara. He started with the Probation Agency in 1988 as a Deputy Probation Officer and has risen through the ranks to become the Director/Chief Probation Officer. In 2015, he served as the president of the Chief Probation Officers of California.

Varela oversees a staff of nearly 430 dedicated deputy probation officers, corrections services officers, and specialized support personnel are responsible for the community supervision of over 9,000 Ventura County adults and juveniles on probation; supervision duties of offenders in juvenile custodial facilities; direct investigative report services to the Ventura County Superior Court and delivery of specialized services to hundreds of individuals participating in enhanced community-based and Court partnership programs.

Mark Varela

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