An Overview of Designs, Programs
& Continuity of Care
Investing in Rehabilitation Improves Public Safety
The centerpiece of Governor Schwarzenegger's comprehensive prison reform package is the creation of secure reentry facilities in the local communities where inmates will be returning upon release. These facilities are designed to improve public safety by reducing recidivism. Inmates often leave prison with nothing more than $200 minus the cost of a bus ticket, and have no prospects for success once they return home.
AB 900 will provide for 16,000 new beds in local reentry facilities, each of which will house up to 500 inmates in their last 12 months in custody. These facilities will provide intensive rehabilitation, and offer offender job training, mental health and substance abuse counseling, housing placement, educational assistance, and other services in the critical few months just prior to their release.
Governor Schwarzenegger signed a Proclamation in June 2006, an Emergency Proclamation in October 2006 and AB 900 in May 2007. All three direct the state to expedite and streamline the contracting process for implementing programs and the construction of secure reentry facilities. Inherent in the Governor’s orders are for the counties, cities and CDCR to work together to devise programs that will assist parolees, reduce recidivism and enhance public safety.
Secure Community Reentry Facilities (SCRF) are locked detention facilities that will house inmates six to 12 months prior to parole.
SCRF will enable the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) and local community agencies to create an unprecedented continuity of care in the provision of needed support services.
SCRF will be built in cities, counties or regions willing to partner, to achieve the purposes of this initiative.
This planning will invite community-based organizations, state and local government service agencies, local law enforcement and the business community, to participate in designing programs that research shows reduces offender failure.
In May 2007, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed Assembly Bill 900, the Public Safety and Offender Rehabilitation Services Act of 2007, a historic prison reform initiative.
This initiative represents a seismic shift in California's correctional system and provides for the largest prison capital outlay program in decades.
Chief among the provisions of Assembly Bill 900 are funding for increased offender programming, 16,000 beds in Secure Community Reentry Facilities (SCRF), and an appropriation of $2.1 billion in jail construction funding through State lease-revenue bonds.
Defining Secure Community Reentry Facilities
Defining Secure Community Reentry Facilities SCRF’s will be designed in cooperation with the local county and/or city officials, Correctional Standards Authority (CSA), private industry and contracted service providers.
Because each community has differing needs for their reentry facilities, the programs will be developed to specifically address the needs of those communities. Some smaller counties may choose to develop regional secure reentry facilities. The six major offender programming areas in each of the reentry programs will include:
1) Criminal Thinking, Behaviors, Skills, and Associations;
2) Aggression, Hostility, Anger and Violence;
3) Academic, Vocational and Financial;
4) Family, Marital and Relationships;
5) Substance Abuse and
6) Sex Offending.
The following is a generally accepted description of a SCRF in the State of California:
Houses inmates with a moderate to high risk of recidivism;
Provides a maximum of 500 beds with both celled and dormitory style housing;
The facility will provide space and support staff for medical, dental, and psychiatric treatment, in compliance with court-mandated standards;
A SCRF may provide for the sharing of infrastructure costs and services with other corrections-related buildings or infrastructure to be determined through negotiations by mutual agreement.
The target populations for each of the reentry facilities will differ according to the needs of the local community. Inmates will possess moderate to a high risk to recidivate. Incentive to participate in the reentry program will be the possibility of employment prior to release, being incarcerated closer to home, participating in the various treatment programs, family reunification and working with a caseworker.
County and City Readiness
County and City readiness to proceed with CDCR in active planning for the county-specific siting of a SCRF can be represented within a variety of applicable factors. The following are representative factors each county will be asked to consider as part of their preparations and readiness to proceed:
Reentry Planning Teams - Each county will be required to have a dedicated county reentry planning team. As an example, the following county officials may be involved: Sheriff, District Attorney, Jail Captain, Local Parole Official, Victims Organizations, Chamber of Commerce, and local Police Departments.
Urban Location for SCRF - Ideally, SCRF will be built in urban areas where the inmate will subsequently parole.
Availability of Wrap-A-Around Services – Ideally, counties and cities that site Reentry Facilities will able to identify Community-Based Organizations, Faith-Based Organizations, and other profit and non-profit organizations that assist in various supportive services and programs supportive of the reintegration of previously incarcerated individuals.
Availability of Employment – Ideally communities with Reentry Facilities will also have employers willing to hire parolees. These employers could begin to hire and train the inmate and then provide employment to the offender when paroled.
County’s Mental Health, Public Health and Social Services Departments - The extent to which these local agencies collaborate to provide a supportive network of services for previously incarcerated individuals.
County and State Guidelines
Public Entity Agreements (PEA) will be used between the states and counties to define the site of the Secure Community Reentry Facilities, the program within the facilities and the populations to be served. The PEA will also be used to establish the parameters for the ongoing working relationships between the parties.
Funding Sources: AB 900 provides that the State Public Works Board (SPWB) will approve use of lease-revenue bond funds for planning and construction of Secure Community Reentry Facilities. As plans are developed, county by county with the CDCR as a partner with each participating county, or city, a funding proposal will be developed and submitted for consideration and approval by the SPWB. Preliminary use of General Fund Budget authorizations may have to occur, but on a limited basis in order to ensure appropriate funding sources for the various steps required to develop plans and develop construction designs, drawings and related services.
Office of Reentry Facilities and Contract Beds
The office of Reentry Facilities and Contract Beds (RFCB), formerly, The Division of Reentry and Recidivism Reduction (DORR), was created in 2006. The office contributes to public safety by providing the CDCR with the development of a Master Plan for Re-entry. RFCB is responsible for working with local law enforcement and city/county elected officials in the siting of secure reentry facilities throughout California. These partnerships between CDCR and Cities and Counties will support inmates nearing their release date, and returning parolees with improved programs, services and supervision. Key elements of the secure reentry facilities will include 1) improved offender risk and needs assessments; 2) improved case management; 3) improving wrap around services for the offender; 4) a continuity of support between custody and parole; and 5) improving collaborative partnerships between corrections, law enforcement and local community service providers.
Community Involvement Critical to Success of Reentry Centers
It is imperative that the public is involved in every step of the process for new reentry facilities. Assembly Bill 900 legislation requires local leaders to sign resolutions of support on reentry facilities in their communities. Below is more information for local governments on the new community reentry facility model. In order for these reforms to be successful, local elected officials, law enforcement, community service providers, and the public at large, will have to join together to improve public safety.
- Secure Community Reentry Facilities: Status (PDF)
- 2009 Planning Guide for Secure Community Reentry Facilities (PDF)
- AB 900 Information & Jail Construction Funding Program
- AB 900 Acheivements (PDF)
- Map of AB 900 Projects (PDF)
- AB 900 Construction Update
Past Informational Webinars
- Conceptual Designs and the Programming Inside Monday, February 4, 2008 10:30 AM Pacific
- Powerpoint Presentation