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Realignment Funds Go Towards "Smart on Crime" Programs

by Charlotte Dean, published

This past summer, San Diego County's use of AB 109 realignment funding was profiled in a brief phone interview with probation officer Karna Lau of the San Diego County Corrections Partnership, the commission of law enforcement and experts on probation, mental health, substance abuse and more designated in every California county to oversee the accommodation and rehabilitation of state prisoners in county jails.

While making inquiries into the operations of San Diego's innovative Community Transition Center -- a facility improving upon the traditional structure of a day reporting center -- the California State Association of Counties (CSAC) was busy producing a San Diego segment in "Smart Justice." It is their ongoing mini-documentary series about diverse improvements in California corrections. Initiated early this year, the project appears to have serendipitously foreshadowed Attorney General Eric Holder's statement this summer emphasizing the urgency of acting not "tough on crime" but "smart on crime."

Alongside work-readiness and mental health programs elsewhere in California, the Community Transition Center, which has retrieved, screened and reentered almost 800 returning state prisoners in its first six months of existence, are concisely profiled to define success. A collaborative ensemble of behavioral experts, probation officers and on-site clinicians rapidly assemble individualized case recommendations. The CTC was founded in partnership with an existing substance abuse center, allowing them to center their services there while referring additionally to dozens of local nonprofits. No construction was required and two fields of expertise were merged to create a criminogenic needs assessment dream-team.

For more details check out an interview with Karna Lau conducted while this video was being filmed. For additional profiles of correctional programs in San Mateo, San Joaquin, San Bernardino, Glenn, Ventura, Merced, Marin or Colusa, visit CSAC's website.

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