Contracted Vendors/Service Providers Citizen Complaints
The Importance of Your Complaint
Citizens who file complaints are treated respectfully and the accusations against employees are taken seriously. All complaints are investigated thoroughly, and all findings are based upon the impartial evidence gained during the investigation. If it is determined that a complainant has knowingly made a false accusation against an employee, the employee has the right to pursue civil litigation against their accuser. However, we support any citizen that has a valid complaint to exercise their right to file such complaint when they feel it is warranted.
Complaint Against Contracted Vendors/Service Providers
Citizens who file complaints are treated respectfully and the accusations against vendors/service providers are taken seriously. All complaints are investigated thoroughly, and all findings are based upon the impartial evidence gained during the investigation.
Submitting a Complaint
The Alameda County Probation Department welcomes valid complaints about its contracted vendors/service providers. We also believe in a fair and equitable process and provide an opportunity for our vendors to address any complaints that have been brought forward, unless there is a clear conflict of interest. When submitting a complaint, please be prepared to provide as much detail as possible (e.g.: names, dates, times, locations, etc.) to assist us in thoroughly investigating the matter.
We ask that the following steps be taken in sequence:
- Submit your written complaint directly to the contractor's Program Manager, citing all your concerns with specific details (complaints could be submitted in any written format or by using the Alameda County Probation Department Citizens Complaint Form).
- Anticipate a follow-up phone call, email or meeting request within 7-14 business days from the contractor’s Program Manager
- If you do not get a response within 7-14 business days, contact the Probation Department's Client Advocate (Ombudsman) at (510) 268-2133
- The Client Advocate will contact the contractor's Program Manager to help resolve the complaint
You can also submit your complaint directly to the Client Advocate in the following ways:
- In person - At any Probation Department location within Alameda County
- By e-mail - At ProbationClientAdvocate@acgov.org
- By mail - Send a letter describing your complaint to the following address:
Alameda County Probation Department
1111 Jackson Street
Oakland, CA 94607
The Investigation Process
Investigations may require you to participate in an interview. During the interview, the following things may be required of you:
- You may be recorded, videotaped or asked to write a statement;
- You will be asked for names of witnesses and other employees and/or clients that may know facts about your complaint; and
- Photographs may be taken of any injuries, damage or evidence related to the nature of the complaint.
Any complaint can be made anonymously, without giving your name; however, you cannot be informed as to the result of your complaint if you choose to remain anonymous. If you make your identity known, you will be advised of the disposition of each complaint.
The Probation Department's Client Advocate (Ombudsman) will be notifying you of the results of the complaint which will be classified with one of the following dispositions:
- Unfounded: The allegation has no basis of fact or has been disproved through the investigation.
- Not Sustained: The allegation can neither be proved nor disproved and no further action is to be considered.
- Sustained Justified: The alleged act or failure to act is found to be true; however, such act or failure to act is permitted, or at least not prohibited, by this Department or was appropriate under the circumstances in this case.
- Sustained: When the investigation discloses that the act reported did occur and constituted misconduct or improper job performance.
- Resolved & Successfully Closed: The allegation was a matter that required an action to be taken or performed to the client's satisfaction.
- Unresolved & Successfully Closed: The allegation was a matter that required an action to be taken or performed to the client's satisfaction, but the Department or contractor was unable to satisfy the request due to reasons of policy violation, legal restrictions, or resource limitations (ex. Contactor has maximized their spending allotment for a certain service that is being requested. This would warrant an "unresolved and successfully closed" status.
We make every effort to resolve complaints as soon as possible, but generally one can expect to receive written information on the disposition of the complaint within 30 days of the completion of the investigation or review of the complaint, given a full name and address is provided.
DEFAMATION ACTION BY PEACE OFFICER
Notwithstanding Section 47, a peace officer may bring an action for defamation against an individual who has filed a complaint with that officer's employing agency alleging misconduct, criminal conduct, or incompetence, if that complaint is false, the complaint was made with knowledge that it was false and that it was made with spite, hatred or ill will. Knowledge that the complaint was false may be proved by showing that the complainant had no reasonable grounds to believe the statement was true and that the complainant exhibited a reckless disregard for ascertaining the truth.