Friday, September 28, 2007

CDCR Hosts Regional Workshop in Downtown Redwood City for Five Bay Area Counties on Secure Community Reentry Facilities

Event held to educate local officials and stakeholders on new reforms

San Mateo - The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) hosted the eighth 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 downtown Redwood City, included representatives from San Francisco, Santa Clara, San Mateo, Contra Costa and Alameda counties.

“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.”

“By law, inmates are returned to their county of last legal residence. In practice, offenders come back to local cities and towns whether they’re rehabilitated or not. It is in the public’s interest to give these returning residents the tools to be law-abiding citizens,” said Sheriff Greg Munks, San Mateo County. “San Mateo County has a vital 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.”

Rose Jacobs Gibson, President of the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors, said that it is important that meaningful programs are available to offenders once they are paroled back into the community.

“People return home with the same challenges that they had beforehand along with the blame and stigma of having served time in prison. Unsurprisingly, these folks end up in a revolving door with CDCR. It is imperative that we develop and provide meaningful programs that open a door to successful reentry into our communities.” said Supervisor Jacobs Gibson.

San Mateo County Supervisor Mark Church said the number-one concern of any citizen is public safety. He said county supervisors often serve as a first-point-of-contact on public safety issues, and the availability of services for parolees and those still in prison is an area of genuine concern.

"Providing job training, counseling and other services so that certain inmates can successfully re-enter and integrate into society as productive and contributing individuals not only enhances public safety and improves our communities, but it also saves taxpayers' dollars in the long term," Church said.

"These informational workshops are important to raise local awareness of the secure community reentry facility models and I expect my colleagues in county government to ask the hard questions," San Mateo County Supervisor Adrienne Tissier said. "Considering the close relationships county supervisors have with people, it is important that we have a voice in how these are designed, implemented and operated."

In May of this year, 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.

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 eighth in a series of nine statewide regional workshops that have been organized through October 12th, 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 regional workshop were from San Diego and Imperial 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.

For more information on secure reentry centers, and the Governor's focus on rehabilitation through the new reforms, please visit the CDCR website at: http://www.cdcr.ca.gov/News/PrisonReform.html

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Gov. Schwarzenegger Signs Legislation to Create First Secure Community Re-entry Facility

Consistent with his number one priority to protect the public's safety, Governor Schwarzenegger today signed SB 943 by Senator Mike Machado (D-Linden) that creates the first secure community re-entry facility. Aimed at rehabilitating prisoners and reducing recidivism and dangerous prison overcrowding, re-entry facilities are a central part of AB 900, the bipartisan measure approved earlier this year to reform California's prison system. The $7.7 billion comprehensive plan will add 53,000 beds throughout the state.
Gov. Schwarzenegger Signs Legislation to Create First Secure Community Re-entry Facility

"When I signed our historic prison reform bill in May, a cornerstone of that plan was 16,000 new beds in secure re-entry facilities. This is a big day for California because this bill creates our first secure re-entry facility and it jumpstarts our prison reform program," said Governor Schwarzenegger. "This facility in Stockton, and others like it across California, will house inmates who are close to their release date and give them the counseling, services, job training and housing placement help that they need to return to society as law-abiding citizens."

SB 943 authorizes the Northern California Women's Facility (NCWF) in Stockton to be utilized as a secure community re-entry facility. In addition to receiving legislative approval, the effort to convert this site has received strong local support with both the San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors and Stockton City Council approving resolutions to utilize NCWF as a re-entry facility.

The comprehensive corrections reforms in AB 900 will address severe inmate overcrowding at state prisons and local jails by funding new beds tied to rehabilitation and creating secure re-entry facilities in the local communities where inmates will be returning. The measure provides for 16,000 new beds in secure community re-entry facilities, with a maximum of 500 beds at each facility where inmates will be housed in their final months prior to release. They improve community public safety also by re-uniting families and by providing job skills related to the local economy.

"Inmates too often leave prison with $200 minus the cost of a bus ticket, and no prospects for success once they return home," said James Tilton, Secretary of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. "The goal of a secure community re-entry facility is to ease the transition of local residents and improve public safety."

The 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.

The Governor also created two strike teams to expedite implementation of AB 900. Composed of nationally recognized rehabilitation and prison construction experts, one strike team will ensure that CDCR has the programs and resources to make rehabilitation a high priority; the other team will expedite the construction of correctional facilities.

Secure community re-entry facilities will enable the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) and local communities to create an unprecedented continuity of care to provide support services. Re-entry 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 their county of last legal residence upon release.

Friday, September 21, 2007

More Than 80 Wards Earn High School Diplomas and GED’s from Preston Youth Correctional Facility

Programs are designed to help youth succeed upon release, reduce recidivism and improve public safety

IONE – A total of 83 Division of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) wards received high school diplomas or General Education Development certificates during a commencement ceremony held today at the historic Preston Youth Correctional Facility. Family members, California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation Staff, and teachers were present with graduates for the event at the James A. Weiden High School on grounds at Preston YCF.
James A Weiden High School graduates walk in the ceremony to receive the diplomas.

“Wards who leave our youth facilities prepared with the right education can make positive contributions to the community. Giving these wards the tools they need to succeed upon release will reduce recidivism, and improve public safety,” said Bernard Warner, Chief Deputy Secretary for the Division of Juvenile Justice. “Strategies to reduce recidivism provide enormous public safety benefits and are key components of the Governor’s vision for long-term reform.

The graduation keynote speaker was Trino Savala, a youth counselor for the Effort Inc. and Youth Gang Prevention Specialist for Northern California. His presentation discussed how he enhanced his life by breaking out of the cycle of crime, and credited the many people that helped him along the way. In 1983, Savala came to Preston and gave a boxing exhibition with local celebrity Tony "The Tiger" Lopez.

Student Antjuan Ruffin spoke at graduation after being recommended by his Economics Teacher, Lou Williams. Antjuan has done very well in all his academic classes, doing exceptional work in Economics. Student Emmanuel Small spoke also with a strong recommendation by his English Teacher, Tom Kubiak. Emmanuel has excelled in English, as well as in all of his academic classes. He has been very influential with his fellow students, using his depth and insight beyond his academic knowledge.

During the ceremony, 83 students graduated from high school or received GED certificates. Each graduate and certificate holder had an average of four to five family members present. All James A. Weiden teaching were present. The school has 422 students, with academic, vocational, special education and English language learner specialized curriculum taught.

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Wednesday, September 19, 2007

CDCR Parolee-At-Large Alfred Beardsley Apprehended in Las Vegas

Fugitive Apprehension Team and U.S. Marshals Coordinate Arrest; Parolee Pending Extradition to California from Nevada

Alfred Beardsley, a Parolee-at-Large from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR), was apprehended in Clark County, Nevada today for violating the terms and conditions of his parole by leaving the state. Beardsley is an alleged victim in the O.J. Simpson robbery case.


Beardsley (age 46) was arrested at approximately 9:00 AM this morning in Las Vegas, NV by the United States Marshals Service’s (USMS) Pacific Southwest Regional Fugitive Task Force, California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation’s Office of Correctional Safety, and the U.S. Marshals Office, District of Nevada.

CDCR issued an arrest warrant for Beardsley for violating his terms and conditions of parole on September 15, 2007. Beardsley is classified as a High Control parolee, requiring the maximum level of supervision, and was out-of-state without authorization. He was identified as a Parolee-at-Large by agents at CDCR’s Division of Adult Parole Operations (DAPO) out of the Santa Ana Parole complex, based in Orange County.

Agents with CDCR’s Southeast Office of Correctional Safety Fugitive Apprehension Team contacted the Regional USMS and requested assistance locating and apprehending parolee Beardsley. The Marshals located Beardsley at the Luxor Hotel this morning around 9:00 AM. He was arrested without incident and booked into the Clark County Detention Center in Las Vegas today, where he is being held pending extradition back to California.

Beardsley agreed to the following terms as conditions of his parole related to travel:

  • You shall comply with all instructions from your Parole Agent and will not travel more than 50 miles from your residence without prior DAPO approval. You will not be absent from your county of residence for a period of more than 48 hours and not leave the State of California without prior written approval of your Parole Agent.
  • You will not reside at any address other than your listed residence of record for any amount of time without prior approval from your Supervising Parole Agent of the Parole and Community Services Division. Specifically, you will not be absent from your residence of record for more than (24) twenty-four hours without prior approval of your Supervising Parole Agent or the Division of Adult Parole Operations.
Beardsley was sentenced to prison in California under the commitment offense of stalking (Penal Code Section 646.9 (A)-Stalking), and is a first term offender received by CDCR on April 26, 2005, for a two-year sentence. He served the majority of his time at North Kern Sate Prison. His initial parole date was March 15, 2006, and his scheduled date for discharge from parole was March 15, 2009.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Parole Reform Increases Supervision of Serious Offenders; Adds Evidence-Based Screening to Reduce Recidivism

Earned Discharge Provides Incentives for Parolees to Rehabilitate

SACRAMENTO-Today the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) announced changes to parole regulations that will enable parole agents to focus more resources on high-risk parolees that are most likely to commit new crimes. Low-level, non-violent parolees that are least likely to commit new crimes will be eligible to earn discharge from parole after six months if they meet strict guidelines. These new regulations were developed in consultation with national experts, and are modeled after evidence-based practices proven successful in reducing recidivism in 33 other states.

The regulations give parole agents a new, powerful and science-based tool to evaluate parolees and focus on those most likely to recidivate. Sex offenders, gang members and other serious, violent or high-risk offenders are ineligible for discharge under these reforms. Additionally, allowing low-risk offenders to earn discharge from parole by completing rehabilitation, education and job training programs creates an incentive for inmates to participate in rehabilitation programs, which in turn reduces recidivism.

Upon approval by the Board of Parole Hearings, the regulations will be put into effect as soon as November. A parole district in south Orange County is the first district equipped to start implementing these regulations. The remaining 23 districts will be brought online within 90 days following analysis of the Orange County program. CDCR will work with Orange County, and local law enforcement to evaluate the effectiveness of this program.

In California, approximately 120,000 inmates are released each year from state prisons. Every offender, regardless of commitment offense or posed risk, is required to report to CDCR’s Division of Adult Parole Operations (DAPO) for a statutorily required period of parole, a practice unique to California and Illinois. Estimates suggest that within the first three years after release, 65-70 percent of offenders violate the terms of their parole or commit a new crime. In 2006, 68,000 parolees were returned to prison for violations of their imposed conditions of parole serving an average four month period of revocation.

“Studies and experts have repeatedly shown that ineffective parole policies in California contribute to our state having some of the highest recidivism rates in the country, which significantly contributes to the crisis-level overcrowding in our prisons,” said CDCR Secretary James Tilton. “By using evidence-based screening strategies we will increase supervision of serious offenders on parole, and not waste resources on those least likely to re-offend.”

“Removing low risk parolees demonstrating good behavior from the overburdened caseloads of parole agents will free them to keep a closer eye on the more serious threats to commit new crimes in our communities,” said Tom Hoffman, Director of the Division of Adult Parole Operations. “With our agents actively enforcing Jessica’s Law and monitoring serious and violent parolees, it is imperative that we maximize our resources in the interest of public safety.”

The earned discharge strategy is an evidence-based practice that has been shown in numerous studies to reduce recidivism and the commission of new crimes by parolees. This policy was one of the recommendations submitted to the Governor by the Expert Panel Report [Page 13] in July 2007. It was also included in the report submitted to the state by the California Independent Review Committee of 2004, chaired by Governor Deukmejian [recommendation #30 in the Inmate and Parolee Population Management Section of the Independent Review Panel], which recommended: “Discharge parolees who are determined to be very low risk from parole three months after they are released from prison." Other reports by the Little Hoover Commission (1994 and 2006), and on numerous occasions by Dr. Joan Petersilia, have also recommended earned discharge.

“Recidivism studies have consistently shown that inmates who are going to return to crime do so quickly. By reallocating scarce parole resources away from those who have demonstrated they don’t need the services and the surveillance, it will allow agents to focus on those who pose a higher risk,” said Dr. Joan Petersilia, co-chair of the 2007 Expert Panel and Director of Parole Reform for Governor Schwarzenegger’s Strike Team. “By rewarding participation in work, education, and substance abuse programs we will motivate parolees to complete rehabilitation programs as an incentive to earn their way off of parole. Research tells us that by implementing earned discharge in California we can replicate many of the positive results experienced by other states.”

Research suggests that during the first 180 days of release parolees have the highest recidivism and technical violation rates. By focusing parole services and supervision on these initial days of release, recidivism and return-to-custody rates are expected to significantly decline. The earned discharge regulations will also allow parole agent resources to be more effectively reallocated to concentrate supervision on more serious violators for longer periods.

Earned Discharge Parole Policy Process: The new regulations will be initially implemented in one south Orange County parole district. This will allow CDCR and the Governor’s rehabilitation strike team to closely evaluate its impact prior to a statewide rollout.

Under these regulatory changes, select parolees who are violation-free and have been reviewed for risks and needs assessments may be recommended for earned discharge after six months of good behavior, based on a number of criteria. Those inmates considered for earned discharge will be reviewed in a four step process.

Step 1: The two lowest-risk levels of active parolees, those classified as minimum supervision and controlled service, will be reviewed for referral to Step 2. As of Sept. 4, 2007, there were 27,851 cases classified as minimum supervision, and 58,694 cases classified as requiring controlled service. Offenders who are excluded from consideration for earned discharge include:

  • Registered sex offenders;
  • Parolees whose current commitment offense is either serious or violent;
  • Parolees who have been on active parole for a period of six months or longer who committed violations based on CalParole and/or the Revocation Scheduling Tracking System (RSTS), or broke the terms of their parole; and,
  • Parolees currently assigned to the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), state mental hospitals, and few select others.
Step 2: All eligible Step 1 cases will undergo an additional risk assessment to identify further exclusionary criteria which may prohibit them from being referred to Step 3. These criteria include:

  • Parole violations not captured in CalParole/RSTS;
  • Prior convictions for serious and violent crimes;
  • Active cases in local custody and not in revocation status;
  • Gang affiliations;
  • Any other identified exclusionary factors as determined by CDCR.
Step 3: All remaining cases will be referred to the respective parole unit for final review. During this review the agent of record, unit supervisor and district administrator will review the parolees’ documents. In addition to the findings of the assessment tools, parole officers will also consider such factors as whether the parolee:

  • Has a stable residence;
  • Has employment or a dependable means of ongoing financial support;
  • Has a history of successful completion of an educational, vocational or community service programs; and,
  • Has demonstrated compliance with victim restitution orders. These and other factors may be considered as supportive evidence of appropriateness for consideration for earned discharge.
Step 4: Those control service cases and minimum supervision cases that have been violation free for six months, and are not removed based on exclusionary criteria in the above steps, will be recommended for earned discharge – unless parole officers at the unit, supervisor, and district administrator levels concur that the parolee represents a continued threat to public safety that warrants continued supervision. All recommendations for earned discharge prior to the completion of 12 months of continuous parole will then also be submitted to the Board of Parole Hearings for consideration and final approval.

Broader Parole Reforms: Earned discharge is one component of a package of parole reforms that CDCR is in the process of undertaking as part of a broader overall strategy to realign resources with risk. In addition to earned discharge, this strategy also includes:

  • Providing better inmate transitions from prison to parole through secure community reentry facilities;
  • Ensuring better coordination with crime victims before the release of their offenders;
  • Restructuring parole supervision using risk assessments to better identify high and low-risk parolees for caseload placements; and,
  • Developing a decision making matrix to be used in assessing when to revoke parolees, as well as alternative sanctions to prison, such as drug treatment beds, and others.
Additional Resources:

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.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Governor Schwarzenegger Releases $23 Million for Counties to Implement Juvenile Justice Reforms

Governor Schwarzenegger today requested the State Controller's Office to release nearly $23 million in Youthful Offender Block Grants in the 2007-2008 budget for counties to implement new juvenile correctional reforms. The recently approved block grants will allow counties to oversee those offenders with less serious crimes in their home communities.

"I am a firm believer that California's youthful offenders are among the most responsive to programs that will steer them away from trouble and keep them from turning toward a life of crime," said Governor Schwarzenegger. "These new reforms will shift away from uprooting less-serious youthful offenders from their families and support networks, by investing in programs and services in their local communities."

"This is real reform that attacks juvenile crime at its roots and focuses on rehabilitation in the home community," said Bernard Warner, Chief Deputy Secretary for the Division of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

Beginning September 1, 2007, the DJJ stopped accepting juvenile court commitments and parole violators, except those convicted of violent, serious, or sex offenses. Juvenile offenders with less serious crimes will now be kept in their local jurisdictions, where they can benefit from programs within their communities and be closer to potential support networks. The 2007-08 state budget includes $24 million from the General Fund, growing to a total of $92 million by 2010-11, in Juvenile Offender Block Grant funding that will provide counties with resources to provide services to juvenile offenders who will no longer be housed in DJJ facilities or supervised by the Division of Juvenile Parole Operations. This is based on approximately 700 juvenile offenders being housed or supervised on parole at the county level, growing to approximately 1,300 by 2010-11.

The 2007-2008 California state budget also includes $100 million in lease-revenue bonds to finance the acquisition, design, renovation, or construction of local juvenile facilities in order to ensure that local governments have adequate capacity and program space to house and serve juvenile offenders. Counties will have the opportunity to apply for these funds after putting together comprehensive infrastructure plans that address programming and housing needs of juvenile offenders.

See below list for block grants to specific jurisdictions.

Alameda                                               $730,128

Alpine                                                       58,500

Amador                                                    58,500

Butte                                                       119,232

Calaveras                                                  58,500

Colusa                                                       58,500

Contra Costa                                           443,277

Del Norte                                                  58,500

El Dorado                                                  94,387

Fresno                                                     689,807

Glenn                                                         58,500

Humboldt                                                   58,851

Imperial                                                      74,364

Inyo                                                           58,500

Kern                                                        849,966

Kings                                                         96,499

Lake                                                          58,500

Lassen                                                       58,500

Los Angeles                                          5,460,396

Madera                                                    101,441

Marin                                                       103,118

Mariposa                                                    58,500

Mendocino                                                 58,500

Merced                                                    236,877

Modoc                                                      58,500

Mono                                                        58,500

Monterey                                                 185,697

Napa                                                         92,250

Nevada                                                     58,500

Orange                                                 1,539,093

Placer                                                      147,000

Plumas                                                       58,500

Riverside                                               1,814,310

Sacramento                                           1,103,062

San Benito                                                 58,500

San Bernardino                                     1,648,906

San Diego                                             1,434,647

San Francisco                                          287,150

San Joaquin                                             602,322

San Luis Obispo                                      100,274

San Mateo                                               363,742

Santa Barbara                                          259,089

Santa Clara                                              790,663

Santa Cruz                                                 94,752

Shasta                                                        90,595

Sierra                                                         58,500

Siskiyou                                                     58,500

Solano                                                      409,064

Sonoma                                                    261,015

Stanislaus                                                  278,735

Sutter                                                         58,568

Tehama                                                      58,500

Trinity                                                         58,500

Tulare                                                       260,455

Tuolumne                                                    58,500

Ventura                                                     389,123

Yolo                                                          102,919

Yuba                                                           58,500



Total                                                   $22,658,771

Monday, September 10, 2007

CDCR Hosts Secure Community Reentry Facility Regional Workshop in Santa Rosa for Seven North Bay Counties

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

SANTA ROSA – The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) hosted the sixth 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 Santa Rosa, included officials from Sonoma, Marin, Napa, Lake, Mendocino, Solano and Colusa 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.”

By law, inmates are returned to their county of last legal residence. In practice, offenders come back to local communities whether they are rehabilitated or not. California’s rate of recidivism is one of the highest in the nation, with about 70% of parolees committing new crimes that return them to prison, commented Sheriff Bill Cogbill. “We see the impact of this on our own jail. Last year, convicted felons who were in jail pending new felony charges had an average of more than 3 prior felony convictions. There has got to be change in rehabilitation models and methods to positively impact the repeat cycle of criminal behavior and enhance the public’s safety.”

The informational workshops are important to raise local awareness of the secure community reentry facility models. Any final plans and agreements on these facilities will be negotiated on a county by county basis. “We are here to listen today,” commented Supervisor Tim Smith, who represents Sonoma County’s Third District, “but we recognize this is an issue that affects each community. There are a number of tough questions to be asked about the facilities models and programming approaches that would support maximum success and break the cycle of repeat offending. We are also cautious, given the mixed history of success with past state sponsored partnerships with counties.”

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 sixth 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 Sonoma regional workshop were from Sonoma, Marin, Napa, Lake, Mendocino, Solano and Colusa 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.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

San Quentin State Prison Celebrates National Recovery Month; Recognizes Inmates Being Trained to be Certified Drug Counselors

Certification program a first of its kind in any prison in the U.S.

SAN QUENTIN – This September marks the 18th annual National Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month and San Quentin State Prison joined voices across the nation in celebrating recovery from substance abuse disorders. An event at San Quentin today highlighted the prison’s first-in-the-nation program to train and certify inmates as drug and alcohol counselors.

“Drug and alcohol abuse takes an enormous toll on human lives and is a driving force behind many of the offenses that lead to incarceration in state prison. Research shows that investing in substance abuse treatment has a real cost benefit to the public and can help to keep inmates from re-offending,” California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation Secretary James E. Tilton said. “Substance abuse treatment is fundamental to this Department’s commitment to rehabilitation.”

Above, the first class of inmate counselors graduate in a ceremony during
December 2006 at San Quentin State Prison
The September 8 celebration was targeted to general population inmates, most of whom have a history of drug and alcohol abuse, and featured speakers, music, and recovery resource information.

Inmates in the Addiction Counselors Training (ACT) program were recognized by Executive Director Rhonda Messamore and Past President Warren Daniels of the California Association of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors (CAADAC). Begun in 2005, the ACT program trains inmates to become certified drug and alcohol counselors. It is the first and only program of its kind in any prison in the U.S.

Addiction specialists from major universities and addiction treatment centers from the Bay Area volunteered to teach the seven classroom courses and supervise the six-month practicum and 4,000-hour internship. In June 2007, nine out of the 11 ACT inmate trainees passed the rigorous written examination and are now certified alcohol and drug counselor associates, a major step along the way to being certified by CAADAC. Working under clinical supervision by experienced addiction treatment professionals, the inmate counselors provide peer counseling, case management and education services to other inmates in the Addiction Recovery Counseling (ARC) program while in custody and will receive job placement counseling and referrals for employment in the addictions treatment field when they are paroled. Established in 2006, the ARC program is also the first of its kind in any prison in the nation. The ACT and ARC programs were created and are operated by Full Circle Addiction Recovery Services, a community-based non-profit from Berkeley.

“There’s a huge credibility advantage to this program,” San Quentin State Prison Warden Robert Ayers said. “These are not people with advanced degrees and letters behind their names. These are people who’ve been there and know first-hand the challenges that must be overcome to beat an addiction.”

“The ACT program has the potential to be a great cost-saving measure. It is also a career path for the guys that we’re training,” said Thomas P. Gorham, an ACT program instructor and board member with CAADAC. “Not only will they improve their environment at San Quentin, they will go out into their local communities and meet their peers there.”

The day’s event also featured motivational speaker and comedian Mark Lundholm. In 1988, Lundholm was a resident in a halfway house recovering from substance abuse. He has appeared in 49 states and five foreign countries as an entertainer and as a motivational speaker at corporate events, correctional facilities, colleges, and at conferences for counselors, physicians and other health care professionals. His performance detailed his battles with addiction with honesty, warmth and humor.

“Drug and alcohol abuse takes its toll on our families and communities. The treatment and recovery programs at San Quentin are an excellent example of how focused, intensive treatment works to reduce recidivism,” Secretary Tilton said. “We are supportive of the prison’s emphasis on recovery and making inmates aware of the resources available to them to help them end their cycles of abuse.

Tilton noted that CDCR is expanding in-custody treatment programs statewide for 4,000 inmates. Moreover, the Public Safety and Offender Rehabilitation Services Act of 2007 directs the CDCR to expand follow-up treatment services in the community for 2,000 offenders in order to ensure that those who participate in in-custody substance abuse treatment receive necessary follow-up treatment while on parole. As space is made available from other reform efforts and overcrowding is reduced, expanded treatment services will become available.

On the Web


Friday, September 7, 2007

CDCR Serves Jessica’s Law Notices on Sex Offenders

2,741 notified they live too close to schools, parks; must move
SACRAMENTO - The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) today announced that it has completed its notification to 2,741 sex offender parolees who were in violation of housing restrictions mandated by recently passed Proposition 83, or Jessica’s Law. These sex offenders now have less than 45 days to comply with the housing restrictions.

CDCR parole agents fanned out across the state beginning on August 17 and completed notifications earlier today, four days ahead of the September 11 deadline that the department imposed on itself to finish the work. Jessica’s Law requires sex offenders paroled after Nov. 8, 2006, to live at least 2,000 feet from a school or park where children regularly congregate.

“Our agents did a tremendous job personally notifying each of these sex offenders to make sure they come into compliance with the law,” said Secretary James Tilton. “It was a monumental task that was completed ahead of schedule. Our agents are true professionals who work hard to protect the public.”

CDCR parole agents documented the address of each of the 2,741 sex offenders with personal visits and verified the distance to the nearest school or park with hand-held Global Positioning Satellite (GPS) devices, the most accurate technology available to measure distance in a straight line.

Those who were verified to live inside the 2,000 foot restriction were notified they had 45 days to find new housing that complies with the law. Regulations adopted since Proposition 83 was approved allow those who violate the housing restriction to have their parole revoked and be returned to prison.

In addition, CDCR parole agents also visited another 2,390 sex offenders to verify that they live outside the 2,000 foot restriction. Their parole conditions were amended to ensure that they do not move to new locations within the Jessica’s Law boundaries.

Approximately 400-700 sex offenders are released from prison to parole each month and each will be notified of the Jessica’s Law requirement prior to their release.

“Once the legal challenges to the law were resolved and regulations were in place to enforce it, CDCR made an aggressive effort to bring all of these parolees into compliance with the law,” added Secretary Tilton. “In approving Proposition 83, the voters have said they want this level of security in the community, and it is our job to enforce the law.”

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Wednesday, September 5, 2007

CDCR Hosts Secure Community Reentry Facility Regional Workshop in Fresno for Nine Central Valley Counties

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

FRESNO - The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) hosted the fifth 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 downtown Fresno, included officials from Fresno, Kings, Tulare, Madera, Merced, Mariposa, Stanislaus, Tuolumne, and Kern 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.”

CDCR parole officials discuss demographics of inmates who will be returning to the Central Valley

"It is very important that law enforcement officials in the Central Valley work with the state to improve success rates of our residents who are reentering the community after prison. Fresno is interested in exploring the use of secure community reentry facilities as a way to reduce recidivism and prevent our citizens from becoming victims," said Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims. "We are also very interested in partnering with the state to reduce overcrowding in our local jails and prisons. It is important that our county take advantage of all the programs and funds that the state is making available."

"By law, inmates are returned to their county of last legal residence whether they're rehabilitated or not. Giving these returning residents the tools to be law-abiding members of the community should increase public safety and reduce crime," said Tulare County Supervisor Connie Conway. "It's important that elected officials and the public at large realize that the entire community benefits from having reentry programs at the local level. By partnering with the state on reentry we can help keep parolees from committing new crimes, and going back to prison."

In May of this year, 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 fifth in a series of ten 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.

"These informational workshops are important to raise local awareness of the new secure community reentry facility model among stakeholders at the county level, so that we can start educating the public on this new approach toward increasing public safety," said Fresno County Board of Supervisors Chair Bob Waterston. "Since any final proposals and agreements on secure community reentry facilities will be negotiated by county sheriffs and county administrative officers, and ultimately voted on by the board of supervisors, it is important that all interested parties are fully informed of the process and are on the same page."

Invited participants to the Central Valley regional workshop were from Fresno, Kings, Tulare, Madera, Merced, Mariposa, Stanislaus, Tuolumne, and Kern 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.

For more information on secure reentry centers, and the Governor's focus on rehabilitation through the new reforms, please visit the CDCR website at: http://www.cdcr.ca.gov/News/PrisonReform.html