Monday, September 12, 2011

CDCR Announces Community-Based Program for Eligible Inmates

Alternative Custody Program aims to reunite inmates with their families

SACRAMENTO – The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) today announced the implementation of the Alternative Custody Program (ACP), aimed at reuniting low-level offenders with their families and providing inmates with rehabilitative services within the community.

In September 2010, Gov. Schwarzenegger signed Senate Bill 1266 into law, creating ACP to address the high number of inmates with dependent children in the state’s prisons. The program allows non-serious, non-violent offenders, as defined by Penal Code (PC) 1192.7(c) and 667.5(c), and non-sex offenders to serve the remainder of their sentences in the community in lieu of state prison.

“Approximately two-thirds of CDCR’s female inmates are mothers whose children are either with relatives or are in foster care,” Secretary Matthew Cate said. “ACP is a step in breaking the intergenerational cycle of incarceration, as family involvement is one of the biggest indicators of an inmate’s rehabilitation.”

Initially, the program will be offered to qualifying female inmates. Participation may be offered at a later date to male inmates, at the discretion of the Secretary of CDCR.

Effective September 12, an inmate who qualifies will be permitted to serve the remainder of their sentence in a residential home, a residential substance-abuse treatment program, or a transitional-care facility that offers individualized services based on their needs.

The program permits eligible inmates to seek and retain employment in the community, attend psychological counseling sessions, educational or vocational training classes, participate in life-skills or parenting training, and utilize substance-abuse treatment services.

Approximately 45 percent of CDCR’s female inmates are potentially eligible for ACP, but approval for participation in the program is dependent on a review of individual history and case factors.

The following eligibility criteria must be met for participation:

· Female inmate, or
· Pregnant inmate, or
· Inmate who, immediately prior to incarceration, was the primary caregiver of a dependent child.
· Have 24 months or less to serve in state prison.

The following exclusionary criteria preclude an inmate from participating:

· Current or prior serious or violent felony, as defined by the Penal Code
· Current or prior sex-offense conviction or PC 290 registration requirement
· An escape in the last 10 years
· Specific in-prison misconduct or custody levels
· Active restraining order
· Specific in-prison misconduct or custody levels
· Gang membership/affiliation
· Felony, or Immigration and Customs Enforcement hold

In addition, a case-by-case eligibility determination will be made regarding:

· Current or prior sexual convictions not requiring PC 290 registration
· Current or prior child-abuse arrests or convictions in which the offense was related to abuse or neglect of a child
· Current or prior convictions for stalking

Supervision and case management will be provided by an assigned parole agent. The ACP participant will continue to serve their full sentence and will be electronically monitored for the duration of the time they are in the program. An inmate’s participation in the program may be revoked at any time and for any reason.

An ACP participant will receive sentence-reduction credits that would have been received had they served their sentence in state prison. In addition, they are eligible to receive day-for-day earned release credits if they complete an approved rehabilitative program while participating in ACP.

CDCR will notify both local law enforcement and victims, if any, of an inmate’s participation in ACP.

SB 1266 did not appropriate funding for ACP. Since the state will not be responsible for transportation, food, or housing costs for ACP participants, CDCR anticipates a cost-savings to the state of approximately $6 million next year.

When ACP was enacted into law, several non-profit and community organizations offered their programs free of charge to ACP participants. Under ACP, participants may live in approved residences, but the state is not responsible for their housing costs.

For more information on CDCR’s female inmate population, visit the Female Offender Programs and Services page here: http://www.cdcr.ca.gov/Adult_Operations/FOPS/index.html.

For more information on ACP, visit CDCR’s website here: http://www.cdcr.ca.gov/Adult_Operations/FOPS/docs/ACP-Fact-Sheet-Final.pdf

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, September 12, 2011
Contact: Dana Toyama
(916) 445-4950