Probationers celebrate graduation

Probationers celebrate graduation »Play Video
BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) — Once facing little hope of getting out of the revolving jailhouse door, a group of probationers now stand a better chance of turning their lives around.

"I'm really happy about it, it's cool," said 26-year-old Jaime Montoya.

In and out of jail since he was 10-years-old, Montoya is one of 18 probationers to participate in the graduation ceremony for the Day Reporting Center.

The DRC is a joint venture between Kern County Probation Department and B.I. Incorporated, which provides evidence-based treatment for moderate to high-risk adult offenders.

The program offers a variety of on-site services including treatment for substance abuse, aggression, parenting skills, education, job training, life-skills and more.

"These individuals have put in a lot of work so they can be successful," said Steve Farugie, DRC Program Manager.

The graduation ceremony was held at Hodel's restaurant. Proud family members clapped when each graduate received their certificate of completion.

The hope is that by completing the program, probationers will stay out of jail. The recidivism rate stands at 70 percent said Kern County Chief Probation Officer David Kuge.