The California Department of Corrections (CDC) formally opened its first Family Foundations Program facility today, in Santa Fe Springs, Los Angeles County. The Department hosted a ribbon- cutting ceremony and facility tours. Speakers included Youth and Adult Correctional Agency Secretary Robert Presley, CDC Director C.A. Terhune, and other dignitaries.
The Family Foundations Program is the only alternative sentencing program for women in California administered by CDC who are non-violent offenders with histories of drug abuse. Women must be pregnant or parenting a child under age six. The mother spends 12 months in this highly structured residential treatment program followed by a 12-month aftercare/transition period to help her successfully re-enter society. Currently, there are nine women and their children housed at the facility, which has a capacity of 35 women and 40 children.
As a State Senator, Presley sponsored legislation in 1994 establishing The Pregnant and Parenting Women’s Alternative Sentencing Program Act.
“This alternative sentencing holds women accountable for their criminal behavior while affording parent and child a chance to lead more healthy and productive lives, as the mother completes her sentence,” Presley said at today’s dedication.
On-site services include parenting skills development, health services, child development services, and vocational skills training. Residents have the benefit of support groups and assistance to establish and enhance close ties with their young children. Additionally, the mothers share cooking and cleaning chores and learn life skills to help improve their employability.
CDC selected the City of Santa Fe Springs for the first Family Foundations Program residential facility. Two additional facilities in San Diego and Fresno are slated to open next year.