A Changing of the Guard is Underway at the Stanislaus County Probation Department

Stanislaus County will soon welcome a new Chief Probation Officer. Jill Silva is retiring next week after a 27-year run with the county and will be replaced by Assistant Chief Probation Officer Mike Hamasaki before the end of the month.

The Superior Court appoints the chief probation officer to carry out sentencing orders for convicted offenders. In Stanislaus County, staff members in the Probation Department are employees of the county.

As Silva made preparations for retirement, a panel of judges was informed that Hamasaki was interested, and he was interviewed in September. The court offered him the post without going to an open process.

Silva has served as the top Probation Department official since 2012, overseeing 260 employees and a budget of $55 million. She helped steer the department through the initial years of realignment, as well subsequent state and local reforms affecting probationers.

Silva’s successor has held his current position for over four years but has worked for the county since 1994. He holds a criminology degree from Fresno State University.