New Leadership at Probation Department

(left to right) Terri McDonald and Sheila Mitchell

Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas hailed the Board of Supervisors’ appointment of Terri McDonald as Chief Probation Officer, and of Sheila Mitchell as Chief Deputy Probation Officer.

“I look forward to working with Terri McDonald and Sheila Mitchell in reforming the Probation Department to ensure that youth and adults have the greatest chance of rebuilding their lives,” he said.

“Terri is a proven reformer who has already achieved notable improvements to our jail system. I am confident in her ability to carry out the changes we need in Probation, especially with Sheila as her second-in-command, as she is a renowned expert in juvenile justice with a track record of system change in California,”Supervisor Ridley-Thomas added. “Terri and Sheila are already making history by becoming the first women to lead Probation. I hope they can steer the long-troubled department to a brighter future.”


Probation Officers

McDonald has 28 years of experience at both the state and local levels of government, including as Los Angeles County Assistant Sheriff of Custody Division, implementing the recommendations of the Citizens Commission on Jail Violence, until her retirement in April.

Mitchell is currently the chief operating officer for the nonprofit Unity Care, which develops educational and social programs to enrich the lives of at-risk youth. From 2004-2013, she was the Chief Probation Officer of Santa Clara County.