WHAT IS AB 109?
In April 2011, the California Legislature and Governor Brown passed sweeping public safety legislation (AB 109) that effectively shifted responsibility for certain populations of offenders from the state to the counties. Assembly Bill 109 establishes the California Public Safety Realignment Act of 2011 which allows for current non-violent, non-serious, and non-sex offenders, who after they are released from California State prison, are to be supervised at the local County level. Instead of reporting to state parole officers, these offenders are to report to local county probation officers.
AB 109 is fashioned to meet the U.S. Supreme Court Order to reduce the prison population of the State’s 33 prisons. Noteworthy is the fact that no inmates currently in state prison will be transferred to county jails or released early. The law, effective October 1, 2011 also mandates that individuals sentenced to non‐serious, non‐violent or non‐sex offenses will serve their sentences in county jails instead of state prison.
The Post-Release Community Supervision Act of 2011 requires the County’s post-Release supervision strategy be consistent with Evidence-Based Practices (EBP) to reduce recidivism (Penal Code 3450). As a result, the Probation Department implemented and continues to strengthen its program model to be consistent with EBP research.
COMMUNITY CORRECTIONS PARTNERSHIP (CCP)
The Public Safety Realignment legislation (AB 109) required that each county’s Community Corrections Partnership (CCP) develop an AB 109 implementation plan. As of October 1, 2011, the implementation of the AB 109 plan is coordinated through the Countywide Criminal Justice Coordination Committee’s (CCJCC) Public Safety Realignment Team (PSRT), which was created by the Board of Supervisors in February 2011 to report and advise the Board on public safety realignment matters. Additional information on the CCP and CCJCC is available at the following website: http://ccjcc.lacounty.gov/Public-Safety-Realignment.
OVERVIEW OF SUPERVISION UNDER PRCS
The Probation Department is committed to ensuring that supervised persons successfully re-enter the community. The following information provides an overview of supervision under PRCS.
Conditions of Supervision
The terms and conditions of PRCS are set by law (Penal Code Section 3453). Additional conditions may be added by assigned Deputy Probation Officers (DPO) based on the current offense & prior record.
Similar to Probation and Parole supervision, clients are expected to report to your assigned DPO as instructed. Clients are expected to make themselves available for announced and unannounced community contacts at their residence. During these visits, the client and DPO may review the conditions of supervision, develop and update case plans, and discuss progress towards case plan goals. In addition, supervised persons are subject to “search” by ANY peace officer including compliance checks at their residence.
DPOs work with clients to create case plans to help them as they return to the community and start their new path towards a life without involving criminal activities. The case plan is meant to guide clients as we work on the life areas that can encourage you to commit illegal acts. By successfully working on these areas, clients will have a greater chance of successfully completing supervision and leading a life free of criminal activity.
Length of Supervision
PRCS clients are subject to a supervision period for up to three (3) years. However, clients may be considered for a discretionary discharge after 6 months of supervision. To qualify for a 6-month discretionary discharge, clients must successfully complete their case plan (or have made significant progress towards completing the case plan) and have 6-months of continuous supervision with no custodial sanctions. The law mandates discharge upon the successful completion 12 months of continuous supervision with no custodial sanctions.
Rewards & Sanctions
As part of the supervision process, clients will be rewarded for positive behavior and sanctioned for negative behavior. For example, completing a case plan goal can earn clients a reduction in their supervision level, reduced reporting requirements, or even a movie pass or gift card (subject to availability).
If clients violate their terms & condition of PRCS, they will be held accountable with non-custodial or custodial sanctions. Examples of non-custodial sanctions include an increase in reporting, new/increased drug testing requirements, GPS, curfew, and a requirement to complete PAAWS (community service).
Custodial sanctions will result in an extension of the time on supervision. There are two types of custodial sanctions:
- Flash Incarceration: 1-10 days in local jail. No formal hearing is required and is at the discretion of the Probation Officer. Your PRCS program starts over on the day of violation.
- Formal Revocation: similar to a formal probation or parole violation and requires a Court hearing (180-day maximum per occurrence and is served at local jail).
The purpose of auxiliary funds is to stabilize clients’ re-entry into the community. In order to participate, clients must be on active PRCS (or split sentence) supervision and must be in compliance with their conditions of supervision. In addition, the requested items must support the needs identified in their case plan.
Following are examples of approved items that may be paid for with auxiliary funds: medical supplies, clothing and/or uniforms, hygiene products, and housing assistance. The granting of auxiliary funds is not automatic or guaranteed and is based on funding availability.
Probation Department Contracted Services
The Probation Department contracts with a Community Based Organization to provide the following services: Systems Navigation, Temporary Housing & Case Management, and Employment Services. These services are available to the following individuals:
- Persons under active Post-Release community supervision (PRCS)
- Persons under active split sentence supervision
- Persons participating in the Back on Track LA program
- Straight sentenced offenders under PC 1170(h) (per Board motion 10/13/15)
- Persons terminated from PRCS and/or split sentence supervision (per Board motion 10/13/15)
- Systems Navigation
- Provide links to community resources and public benefits that client may be eligible to receive.
- Assist with application processes for public benefits and services.
- Ensure that participants acquire all eligibility support documents (birth certificates, social security cards, valid identification cards, etc.)
- Temporary Housing & Case Management
Housing in a clean, safe, and welcoming environment with an individual case plan to assist client in their path to independence. Housing types are follows:
- Transitional Housing
- Parent with Child Transitional Housing
- Sober Living Environment
- Emergency & Homeless Shelters
- Board & Care
- Skilled Nursing
- Recuperative Care
- Employment Services
Service to increase job readiness and provide job placements through the following:
- Individualized assessment
- Employment eligibility support
- Case Management
- Job Readiness Workshops
- Job Placements
- Job Retention (After Care Support)
AB 109 SPECIAL PROJECTS
In an effort to continuously improve the program, the Department is involved in several projects.
- Cognitive Behavioral Intervention (CBI) – The Department is in the process of implementing The Carey Guides as its CBI program to be incorporated into current case planning and case management practices to address criminogenic needs (life areas) that contribute to criminal offending. Training in EBP, Effective Case Planning & Management, and the Use of the Carey Guides is underway and is scheduled to be completed by April 2018. The use of this CBI will enable staff to engage in teaching and practices skills to our clients in order to disrupt problematic thinking patterns that contribute to criminal behaviors.
- Gender Specific Programming – The Department has implemented the “Healing Trauma” Women’s Group, which is an Evidence-based Program that addresses the trauma experienced by many of the women re-entering the community from state prison or county jail. The program is facilitated by Department staff in small group sessions. After an initial pilot program, the Women’s Group programming is being implemented throughout the County and the Department will be determining if a comparable program can be developed and implemented for male clients who have experienced trauma.
- Skid Row Project – In an effort to address the number of PSPs and probationers in the Skid Row area of the city of Los Angeles, the Department placed two (2) DPOs with the Los Angeles Police Department’s Central Station. Using the Mobile Resource Center, the two DPOs along with staff from the contracted housing provider, the Department of Mental Health, and the Department of Public Health are deployed to the Skid Row area twice a month to facilitate mobile office reporting. The goal of the project is to transition supervised persons from homelessness into permanent housing.
- AB 109 Counseling Services Contract – The Department is in the process of developing a Request for Proposal (RFP) for an AB 109 Counseling Services contract to be provided by one or more Community Based Organizations. The services would provide family/marital counseling, parenting classes, mediation services to reduce conflict and build positive family relationships and communication.
- Gang Intervention Services Contract – Probation staff are in the process of developing a Statement of Work (SOW) for a future RFP for Gang Intervention services to be provided by one or more Community Based Organizations. The services may include but are not limited to the following: case management; Cognitive Behavioral Therapy specific to gang membership and activities; tattoo removal; and peer mentorship.
COMMUNITY CORRECTIONS PARTNERSHIP (CCP)
The Los Angeles County Probation Department serves as the County’s top planning agency for the Public Safety Realignment Plan.
AB 109 established that local Community Corrections Partnerships (CCP) develop an implementation plan to be submitted to county boards of supervisors for review and approval by a four-fifth’s vote of the County Board of Supervisors.
The Los Angeles CCP and associated working groups met continuously to develop a plan that addresses the major issues involved with implementation of AB 109 and public safety realignment. In August 2011, the Los Angeles County CCP Plan was approved by the Board of Supervisors.