Brad Fincher is about to celebrate his silver anniversary with San Juan County – 25 years. After two and half decades of working alongside the Courts, Fincher still enjoys solving new challenges, championing those working towards sobriety, and serving his community.
What does an Adult Probation Officer do?
“I work with both District and Superior Courts. I do pre-trial monitoring for both courts and in District Court work with defendants in completing their post-sentencing requirements, which means anything from drug and alcohol testing to electronic tracking and rehabilitation programs.”
“I am also the community service coordinator. If someone is given court-ordered community service, I maintain a list of places that willingly take volunteers from the courts, and I arrange and monitor their hours.”
What is ‘Drug Court?’
San Juan County Superior Court launched Adult Drug Court (a type of therapeutic court) in 2019.
“It’s designed to let the judge have more interactions with the participants – which is really encouraging. It’s a great environment – people clap and applaud each other’s successes. Upon successful completion of the program, the participants have their criminal case dismissed.”
“I’m the case manager for Drug Court which means I’m the day-to-day person that makes sure folks complete their treatment. The most important thing to me is that we communicate. If they are having trouble, we want to do everything we can to help them find success. We don’t want to send people back to jail or punish them as long as they’re making an effort in the program.”
What do you enjoy about your job?
“The cool thing about my job is that it’s never boring. There’s something new every day and I enjoy figuring out different ways to support people in our programs. We can give them tools to get out of the system they’ve been in. It’s empowering.”
What should people know about the adult probation program?
“People are surprised that my position exists because many citizens think that there is minimal crime here. But just like anywhere else, we have our problems, and we’re working hard to solve them. There’s still work to be done to continue making this place as safe as it can be.”
What is your involvement with the San Juan Island Prevention Coalition?
“I am the chairman for the San Juan Island Prevention Coalition. It’s our 20th year and our mission statement is to “reduce substance abuse by youth and to create a community culture supporting healthy choices and responsible behaviors by youth and adults.” We have helped start sustainable community programs like the Island Rec New Year’s Eve party, grad night out, and the medication take-back program – which has its next Take Back Day on April 29. Our signature community event is the Prevention Booth at the San Juan County Fair (August 16-19) where kids of all ages can make “Healthy Message” t-shirts.”
How do you maintain a healthy work-life balance?
“Well, I am on my 89th straight day of Wordle. We have a competition in the Courts every day to see who can complete it in the least number of attempts. It’s been a lot of fun for all of us. I’m also a swimmer. At lunch I head to the pool and swim a mile every day.”
“I have a wonderful family – my wife, Debbi, and I are celebrating our 30th wedding anniversary this year, I have two amazing sons, Zach and Luke, and our rescue dog, Molly, keeps us busy with neighborhood walks.”
What do you enjoy about living in San Juan County?
“I like that it has a small-town feel. Seeing the same people at the grocery store and giving the head nod. Also, my commute to work is eight minutes – which is hard to beat!”
This profile is part of a series spotlighting San Juan County employees, the work they do, and the difference they make. Follow along each month to meet the staff responsible for making the Islands a wonderful place to live, work, and play.