Citizen Complaints

Making a Complaint Against a Probation Department Employee

The San Bernardino County Probation Department believes a relationship of confidence and trust with the public is an essential component of transparency.

Any individual who feels they may have been subject to or witnessed misconduct by a member of the Probation Department can file a citizen’s complaint.

How to Make a Complaint

You have the right to make a complaint against any Probation staff for any improper conduct. California law requires this agency to have a procedure to investigate citizen’s complaints.

Complaints may be made:

  1. In person: Complaint forms are available at all Probation Department locations and can be filled out and turned in on premises.
  2. Professional Standards Division: Complaint forms can be picked up and turned in at 175 W. 5th Street, 4th Floor, San Bernardino, CA 92415.
  3. Via Mail: You can request a complaint form be mailed to your place of residence. Please contact Professional Standards during normal working hours (8am-5pm, Monday throughFriday), at 909-387-5874.
  4. Online: You may print out a complaint form from the Department website and drop it off or mail it to Professional Standards. You may also print out and scan your form and email it to

If you are unable to complete the written form, please contact our Professional Standards Division for assistance at 909-387-5874.

When providing your complaint, please explain with as much detail and information as possible. You may attach additional pages and/or documentation as needed. Please remember to include your contact information so we are able to reach you if necessary.

How a Complaint is Handled

If you choose to submit a written complaint, it will be forwarded to the Professional Standards Division for review. Upon receipt, Professional Standards will mail you an acknowledgment letter.

Each allegation will be examined on its own merit and in an objective manner.

A management/administrative level review will take place and, if appropriate, recommendations will be made to the Chief Probation Officer or their designee for disciplinary and/or corrective action.

After the complaint has been investigated you will be notified, in writing, of the findings. Due to the thoroughness of the investigation process, results may take some time.
In addition, California law prohibits the department from disclosing details of personnel investigations or any disciplinary action taken.

Complaint Resolution

The letter you receive following the conclusion of the investigation will list one or more of the following findings:

  • Unfounded/Not Founded – The allegation has no basis in fact or has been disproved.
  • Not Sustained-The allegation can neither be proved nor disproved and no further action will be taken.
  • Sustained – The allegation is found to be true and constituted a violation of any MOU, county and/or department rules, regulation, policy, procedure, or local, state or federal law, or ordinance, etc.
  • Exonerated – The allegation was not found to be a violation of any MOU, county and/or department rules, regulation, policy, procedure, or local, state or federal law, or ordinance, etc.
  • Handled at the Management level – The allegation did not rise to the level of misconduct, however, there were peripheral issues addressed by management.
  • No Finding/Incomplete/Closed – This finding could be used in situations which may include, but are not limited to, the complainant failed/refused to disclose information needed to further the investigation, the complainant withdrew the complaint, or the complainant is no longer available for clarification. In addition, it could be used when information provided is not sufficient to determine the identity of the employee, the information provided is impossible to investigate as it is physically, logically, or technically impossible, or the complaint is a duplicate of one already submitted.

Generally, complaints will not be accepted from persons who are under the influence of alcohol or drugs or uninvolved third parties, except a family member in the case of a juvenile.