Parole partnerships show how reentry efforts can succeed when working together for a common goal.
Division of Adult Parole Operations (DAPO) reentry services provided by the Adult Program Unit (APU) are highlighted in their quarterly newsletter.
The services aid formerly incarcerated individuals while they’re on parole. APU strives to provide parolees with the tools to successfully reintegrate into society and provide them with the opportunity to give back to the community.
These are just a small portion of accomplishments of APU in 2020, while overcoming and adapting in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
WEDO collaborates with APU, Antelope Valley organizations
In early 2019, APU staff partnered with Olive Support Services and the Children’s Center of the Antelope Valley (CCAV). They created the Wrap-around Engagement Desert Outreach (WEDO) weekly clinic at the Antelope Valley parole office.
This clinic offered many free services to include:
- Mobile medical clinic
- Mobile hair cut trailer
- Hygiene products and clothing
- Mobile shower trailer
- Also free assistance with:
- Medical enrollment
- Legal services
- Sign-ups for anger management and/or court ordered domestic violence prevention classes
- Academic assistance
- Job training classes
To deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, many of the services have now transitioned to on-line classes. CCAV and Olive Support Services continue to partner with APU and the Antelope Valley parole office to provide support services.
By the end of 2019, the success of the clinic had become well known among the parolee population through word-of-mouth. APU hopes to replicate what the Antelope Valley parole office and Community-Based Organizations accomplished statewide.
Working with Stanislaus County to establish Emergency Command Center
In March 2020, the APU worked with Stanislaus County, the Stanislaus Probation Department, and the Modesto/Ceres parole office to establish an Emergency Command Center.
The center tracks the expedited releases to probation and parole, and to subsequent quarantine placement, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
This partnership helped smooth the transition of parolees and probationers into safe and comfortable quarantined housing. At its peak, the collaboration served 120 formerly incarcerated people. The effort assured those in quarantine were provided with food and all other essentials.
APU forms unique partnership with NA to provide region-wide meetings for DAPO during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Early in the pandemic, Los Angeles Central District Parole Service Associate (PSA) Tracee Harvey partnered with Lee M., the Southern California Regional Chair for Community Relations for Narcotics Anonymous (NA), to create an online meeting for parolees.
Each meeting now has nearly 200 parolees participating each week. The feedback parole agents get from their parolees has been exceptional. The meetings are “closed,” meaning they are only for those on parole.
Because this partnership has been so successful, APU staff were invited to be guest speakers at NA’s 34th annual conference. The conference serves 13 western states in the United States, two western provinces of Canada and all of Mexico. APU staff were featured guests on the law enforcement panel, sharing how the meeting was created. They also discussed ways it could be implemented in other states and other parts of the world.
APU, Bakersfield church partnership continues
Since the 1990s, the First Congregational Church of Bakersfield has provided gifts and other needed items to children of those on parole.
For many years, APU and Bakersfield parole staff have coordinated an effort to provide for less fortunate families. The recipients are families of parolees, selected by parole agents in the Bakersfield office.
APU coordinated with the church to provide new shoes and a gift card to all the children. The Community Action Partnership of Kern (CAPK) Food Bank provided families with bags of groceries. The families picked up all items at the Bakersfield parole office in a drive-through to keep everyone safe.
Despite the manner of delivery, the cooperative spirit among the First Congregational Church, parole staff and the community remains as strong as ever.
APU recruitment event
On Nov. 23, 2020, supervisors, parole agents and APU staff from the Los Angeles District hosted some graduate students from University of Southern California and California State University, Dominguez Hills.
The students were given a presentation about career opportunities available to them within DAPO. APU staff highlighted community resources and programs offered to parolees. They also explained what is needed for a successful reentry transition into the community. The presentation was well received by all participants.
Annual toy drive
APU staff helped GEO Reentry Services, Specialized Treatment for Optimized Programming, Area 4, with the annual San Bernardino-Victorville Toy Drive. The 2020 toy drive was made possible with the assistance of the Unit Supervisors and Parole Agents in the District. Due to the pandemic, the toys were delivered directly to the parolee’s home. It was a joyous time for the children, making this year’s toy drive a success.
Firefighter Training and Reentry Program at the Ventura Training Center
In October 2018, CAL FIRE, California Conservation Corps (CCC) and CDCR partnered with the Anti-Recidivism Coalition (ARC) to develop an enhanced voluntary Firefighter Training and Reentry Program (FTRP) at the Ventura Training Center (VTC).
In addition to training, the VTC promotes rehabilitation, life skills, and job readiness through advanced firefighter certification and training courses.
FTRP completion provides a pathway for former offenders to be eligible to compete for entry-level firefighter jobs or other careers in the industry with local, state, federal, or private agencies.
Veterans receive peer mentorship
The Veterans Helping Veterans program focuses on helping formerly incarcerated veterans, chronically homeless veterans and their families with wraparound services. Some of the services include job development, life skills training, suicide prevention, financial literacy, tech support and many other skills. The veterans live in housing on site and attend 20 hours of classes per week. They may stay 180 days and may be eligible for 365 days based on clinical necessity.
Merced good Samaritan helps parolees in need
A Merced man named Den donates food to the Merced parole office during the holidays for parolees in need. Den met some Merced parole agents at a local restaurant and asked if he could donate meals to parolees. He was already doing the same for the local probation office. Den has been donating meals to parolees in need now for two years.
The Merced parole office is very grateful for Den’s generosity during and for reaching out to form this partnership.