Friday, September 14, 2007

CDCR Hosts Secure Community Reentry Facility Regional Workshop in Shasta County for Ten Northern California Counties

Elected Officials, Stakeholders Invited to Event on New Prison and Jail Reforms

Redding - The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) hosted the seventh in a series of regional workshops today on Secure Community Reentry Facilities, a key component of recently signed legislation by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to reform California’s prison and jail systems. The workshop, held in Redding, included officials from Shasta, Lassen, Plumas, Del Norte, Trinity, Butte, Siskiyou, Humboldt, Tehama, and Glenn counties to discuss secure community reentry facilities. Breakout sessions covered parolee programming needs, jail construction funding, and standards for reentry facilities.

"The Governor's comprehensive corrections reforms aim to address severe inmate overcrowding at state prisons and local jails by funding new beds tied to rehabilitation, and creating secure reentry facilities in the local communities where inmates will be returning," said Marisela Montes, CDCR Chief Deputy Secretary, Adult Programs. "Inmates too often leave prison with $200 minus the cost of a bus ticket, and no prospects for success once they return home. The goal of a secure community reentry facility is to ease the transition of local residents and improve public safety."

"Rehabilitated or not, inmates leave prison and return to their county of last legal residence. Shasta County has a fundamental interest in partnering with the state to improve our process for transitioning our residents back home, and exploring the use of secure community reentry facilities," said Don Van Buskirk, Captain of the Shasta County Sheriff's Department. "To improve the success rate of our local residents who are returning to our communities after prison, we must work together to provide them the tools to become law abiding citizens and reduce victimization."

In May 2007, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed Assembly Bill 900, the Public Safety and Offender Rehabilitation Services Act of 2007, a historic prison reform agreement. Chief among the provisions of Assembly Bill 900 are funding for 16,000 beds in secure community reentry facilities. These community-based facilities will have a maximum of 500 beds each.

Secure community reentry facilities will enable CDCR and local communities to create an unprecedented continuity of care to provide support services. Reentry facilities will be built in cities, counties or regions willing to partner with CDCR, to assist local residents who are required to be returned to the county where they committed their offense upon release.

These facilities will provide programs and services such as: intensive substance abuse treatment; vocational training and job placement; education and GED coursework; anger management classes; family counseling; housing placement; and, targeted services to help ease the transition from incarceration to a crime-free life on the outside.

This regional workshop was the seventh in a series of 10 statewide regional workshops that have been organized through October 2007. In addition, on July 16 CDCR hosted an online web seminar to discuss why community reentry facilities are important to public safety.

Invited participants to the Northern California regional workshop were from Shasta, Lassen, Plumas, Del Norte, Trinity, Butte, Siskiyou, Humboldt, Tehama, and Glenn counties, and included: local government officials, sheriffs, boards of supervisors, mayors, city council members, chief probation officers, mental health professionals, drug/alcohol professionals, county administrative officers, police chiefs, district attorneys, county public works, community-based agencies, victims’ advocates, chamber of commerce, legislators, and association representatives.

Participants attended workshops discussing parolee programming needs, jail construction funding, and standards for reentry facilities.

Click here for more information on secure reentry centers, and the Governor's focus on rehabilitation through the new reforms.