Friday, March 9, 2007

Governor's "Reducing Recidivism Strategies Initiative" Funds Los Angeles Re-entry Program

New CDCR Grants to Assist Parolees to Reintegrate Back into Society

LOS ANGELES - The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation announced today that it will award the Los Angeles City Community Development Department with a $1.2 million multi-year Intergovernmental Partnership Program Grant to assist the re-entry of parolees into the local community. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger allocated funding for this program in the fiscal year 2006-07 State Budget through his "Reducing Recidivism Strategies Initiative."
"This grant is part of a broader effort by the Governor and the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation to reduce recidivism by supporting local community efforts that provide parolees with life-skills needed to succeed after incarceration," said Marisela Montes, CDCR Chief Deputy Secretary for Adult Programs. "This grant to the City of Los Angeles is of one of 21 awards that the Department will be issuing to local communities to support collaborative and innovative re-entry programs."

The City Community Development Department, in partnership with community and faith-based organizations and the Los Angeles City's Workforce Development System, will be providing intensive discharge planning services including case management, employment, mental health, substance dependence, and transitional housing services. Services are aimed at assisting adult parolees to reintegrate into their communities.

As a pilot demonstration project, the initial focus will be linking ex-offenders, who have been trained in the State's Prison Industry Authority's carpentry pre-apprenticeship program, with employment opportunities in Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's South Los Angeles Construction effort. PIA has the pool of trained, potential workers and the City of Los Angeles has employment opportunities through its construction program.

"We would like to expand the use of partnerships with government and community-based organizations and the Prison Industry Authority to help set parolees and ex-offenders on the right track once they are released," said Chuck Pattillo, Assistant General Manager of the Prison Industry Authority. "It is much more cost effective for us to give inmates a skill in prison that will allow them to be tax-paying, productive members of society, than to just send them back on the streets to re-offend and return. I am optimistic that Los Angeles' pilot program using PIA-trained carpenters for city projects might catch on across the state."

As part of his comprehensive prison reform package, Governor Schwarzenegger is proposing a $41.1 million increase in funding this year, from $52.8 to $93.9, for anti- recidivism programs including drug treatment, job training, and housing assistance.

View More on Governor Schwarzenegger's Reform Proposal at:

Marisela Montes, CDCR Chief Deputy Secretary for Adult Programs