Who is the Colorado Criminal Justice Reform Coalition?

Our mission is to reverse the trend of mass incarceration in Colorado. We are a coalition of nearly 7,000 individual members and over 100 faith and community organizations who have united to stop perpetual prison expansion in Colorado through policy and sentence reform.

Our chief areas of interest include drug policy reform, women in prison, racial injustice, the impact of incarceration on children and families, the problems associated with re-entry and stopping the practice of using private prisons in our state.

If you would like to be involved please go to our website and become a member.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Re-Entry Facilities - California

It's not just necessary it's smart. You are only asking for trouble when you don't prepare people for the transistion. I call it PTPD (Post Traumatic Prison Disorder) Especially when people are released from higher security situations and expected to hit the ground running. If they don't have incredible support systems waiting for them upon release then we are just asking for trouble. The program is also set up to bring people back to their communities where they have the ability to see what jobs and resources are available in their community before they get out.

In the hope of getting state aid to build a new Amador County Jail, the board of supervisors Tuesday voted unanimously to support development of a regional "reentry facility" in Stockton.

The reentry facility would provide a place to prepare inmates in the last year of their sentences for reintegration into society and to introduce them to their parole officers.

Assembly Bill 900, signed by the governor in May, authorizes $750 million to finance local jail facilities and requires the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation to develop reentry facilities throughout the state for 16,000 inmates. The bill provides that each reentry facility house not more than 500 inmates and that they be sited only in cities or counties that request them.

AB 900 also encourages social and health care services, including job training, drug and alcohol counseling and mental health services be provided to inmates during their time in the reentry facility.

"It is my understanding that preferences for funds to build jails are going to go to counties that have stepped to the plate for these facilities," County Administrative Officer Terri Daly told the supervisors.

San Joaquin County has suggested a regional approach to the problem and has offered to use the empty Northern California Women's Facility in Stockton for the purpose.

"There would be no cost to our county," Daly said, and any expenses incurred by the county, such as social services, would be reimbursable by the state.

The proposal had already been approved by San Joaquin County supervisors and the Stockton City Council, she said, and was slated to be considered Tuesday by the Calaveras County Board of Supervisors.

Undersheriff Jim Wegner, in response to a question from District 2 Supervisor Richard Forster, said the reentry facility would not mean more inmates paroled to Amador County. "Only those who actually committed their offenses in Amador County or resided in Amador County would be paroled back to Amador County," Wegner said.

He admitted there were "some other mitigating circumstances" in which a parolee could be transferred from another county, but said that percentage is small.

"This reentry facility would be based in Stockton," he said. "Inmates who are about one year from parole would go there and start to get exposed to programs that prepare them for release."

Mule Creek State Prison Warden Richard Subia told the supervisors that inmates are now released with $200 in their pocket, minus the cost of a bus ticket.

The main benefits of the new reentry facility, Subia said, are that it would be in Stockton and that inmates returning to Amador County would be introduced in advance to their parole officers.

Real Cost of Prisons

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