Scott MacDonald

Scott MacDonald is the Probation Chief of the Santa Cruz County Probation Department and has been a Probation Officer with the department since 1984. Scott Holds a Master of Science Degree in Administration of Justice from San Jose State University and a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology from the University of California Santa Cruz.

Mr. MacDonald has helped to develop a full continuum of services integrated with the County Children's Mental Health system, and community based providers within the juvenile division. He has also led the development in the Adult Probation Division as well as efforts to reduce jail crowding through the development of pretrial services and community based programs to provide alternatives to jail confinement within the Department. Scott has worked on a number of key initiatives within the Department including the Juvenile Detention Alternative Initiative, in which Santa Cruz Probation is considered one of four national model sites; the Reclaiming Futures Initiative, which has resulted in improved adolescent substance abuse assessment and treatment within the justice system; the Santa Cruz County System of Care, which is an interagency and community wide collaborative led by the County Mental Health Agency; and the Department's Balanced and Restorative Justice philosophy and practice.

Mr. MacDonald has lectured nationally in the areas of restorative justice, detention reform, reduction in disproportionate minority confinement, and best practices in the juvenile and criminal justice system. Scott lectured at the University of California Santa Cruz in the area of juvenile justice reform, and has provided 200 internship positions within the Santa Cruz County Probation Department and community based organizations. Scott has also taught criminal justice courses at San Jose State University and at Cabrillo College.

Mr. MacDonald has conducted research on effective probation strategies, disproportionate minority confinement, court processes, juvenile justice programs, and jail programs. He has worked with multiple advocacy, policy, and research groups to improve juvenile and criminal justice policy, practice, and research. Mr. MacDonald is an Associate Consultant with the Vera Institute of Social Justice. His research on effective probation practice in the courtroom is published in Federal Probation and he contributed to three chapters of a book on Juvenile Reentry, which was published in January 2004 by the Federal Office of Juvenile Justice Delinquency Prevention. Mr. MacDonald has been a principle architect for a number of existing programs based on the best available research on effective practices in juvenile justice.