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Jail re-entry program to get new life: Grant ends for system to prevent recidivism, county to pay $1.8M
June 02, 2014, 05:00 AM By Michelle Durand Daily Journal

County supervisors may spend more than $1.8 million to keep afloat a comprehensive re-entry system helping jail inmates successfully integrate back into society.

Inmates nearing release were previously served by the federally-funded program Achieve 180 but the four-year $2.94 million grant expired in March, leaving the county to decide whether to let it go or find another way to maintain the program which proponents say has had a significant impact on recidivism by participants.

When the Second Chance Act grant ended, the county has kept Achieve 180 alive through reserves until it could get a formal replacement in place. The proposal coming before the Board of Supervisors at Tuesday’s meeting similarly offers services like emergency assistance, counseling and employment referrals. Along with Achieve 180’s best practices, the new program will also include aspects of Service Connect which is a multi-department effort launched in 2012 to serve those newly under local control because of state realignment. The goal is to create a seamless transition from in-custody services to out-of-custody services after release to roughly 200 offenders annually.

The main elements outlined in a report to the board breaks the approaches down into two phases — one beginning before the inmate’s release during which their needs and risks are assessed and one after a return home which focuses on keeping him or her there rather than returning to jail. The second part includes connecting the former inmate with treatment, housing, benefits and supervision as ordered by the court.

In its four years, Achieve 180 served 430 individuals at moderate or high risk of recidivism. Preliminary analysis showed 79 percent of participants did not recidivate while enrolled in Achieve 180 and 89 percent did not do so a year after release. In contrast, the Sheriff’s Office historically reports about 70 percent recidivism within two years of release for those who don’t participate.

Service Connect has also shown success, with 63 percent of its 605 clients successfully completing a probationary period.

On Tuesday, county supervisors will consider the funding request of $1,803,417 by Chief Probation Officer John Keene, Health System Chief Jean Fraser, Human Services Agency Director Iliana Rodriguez and Sheriff Greg Munks. The budget will cover 9.2 full-time equivalent positions, including five new, and 44 percent of the funds will be spent on direct service to clients.

The Achieve 180 program cost $1.45 million in fiscal year 2012-13 of which 75 percent was funded by the federal grant and the remainder picked up by the county. Using realignment funding to cover the new program, officials say the per-client cost will be lower. Achieve 180 spent $9,667 per person while the new re-entry program cost for fiscal year 2014-15 is projected at $9,017.

The Board of Supervisors meets 9 a.m. Tuesday, June 3 in Board Chambers, 400 Government Center, Redwood City.

(650) 344-5200 ext. 102



Tags: achieve, percent, program, county, release, which,

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