Friday, January 25, 2008

California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation Opens New Family Foundations Program Facility in Fresno

FRESNO – The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) today held a formal dedication and ribbon-cutting ceremony for its third Family Foundations Program (FFP) facility. It is located at 2855 W. Whitesbridge Avenue, Fresno. It will be operated under contract by WestCare California Inc., a non-profit organization founded in 1973, and serve up to 35 women and 40 children up to the age of six.

This smaller community-based program for female offenders is one of the key components of our prison reform efforts,” said CDCR Secretary James Tilton. “By providing the opportunity for these women to live with and be parents to their children, we hope to break the intergenerational cycle of incarceration that we see all too often. By opening the third such program in California’s Central Valley, we will be able to provide the type of wrap-around services commonly provided by community-based programs. It also allows for more family visiting with inmates’ families and friends within closer proximity.

The contract award was for $7.2 million over a five-year term. WestCare California, Inc. has nearly 35 years of experience operating therapeutic community drug treatment services in community-based, residential, and in-prison treatment environments. WestCare’s comprehensive experience includes substance abuse treatment and relapse prevention programs; parenting skills development; child development services; vocational skills training; ancillary services; and services to special populations that includes pregnant, post-partum and parenting women.

This is a wonderful opportunity for West Care to collaborate with the CDCR, said Maurice Lee, Regional Vice President for WestCare California, Inc. There is a tremendous benefit to working together to serve our clients in this community-based setting.

The Family Foundations Program is a community-based residential-type setting for non-serious, non-violent female offenders, the majority of whom have been convicted of drug-related offenses. On-site services include parenting skills, health services, child development services, and vocational skills training. Residents have the benefit of support groups and assistance to establish and enhance close ties with their young children. Additionally, the mothers share cooking and cleaning chores and learn life skills to help improve their employability.

The Family Foundations Program was created by the State Legislature in 1994 when then-Sen. Robert Presley (R-Riverside) sponsored legislation establishing The Pregnant and Parenting Women’s Alternative Sentencing Program Act. Each facility houses 35 women and up to 40 children. Overseeing each facility is a CDCR Correctional Counselor III, who supervises a staff of vocational and academic instructors, substance abuse counselors, and others. Sen. Presley, as Secretary of the Youth and Adult Corrections Agency, oversaw implementation of the first two programs. They are located in Santa Fe Springs (Los Angeles County) and in San Diego.

Learn more about Governor Schwarzenegger’s comprehensive prison reform package at:

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