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National Reentry Week & April News from CJCJ

In this issue:

  • Direct service providers reflect on National Reentry Week
  • CJCJ testifies before Senate, advocates for community opportunity 
  • San Francisco leadership discusses Prop. 47's impact on crime

Direct service providers reflect on National Reentry Week

This year, the U.S. Department of Justice launched National Reentry Week to improve outcomes for justice-involved individuals

JJS field trip

April 24-30, 2016 has been designated National Reentry Week by the U.S. Department of Justice. At CJCJ, every week is reentry week. With 13 direct service programs aimed at preparing youth and adults for life after incarceration, CJCJ's case managers and staff are dedicated to ensuring that people exiting the justice system have the tools to succeed.

San Francisco Training Partnership (SFTP) case manager, Matt Snope, explains why he believes reentry services are so important: "The transition back to society after incarceration is often challenging," he says. "Coming out of prison or jail means rebuilding one's life pretty much from the ground up, so it's helpful to have resources and services available."

These services are particularly crucial at the community level, says Juvenile Collaborative Reentry Unit (JCRU) Lead Coordinator, Daniel Reyes. "Individuals are best served by their community because it allows for friends and family to participate in the reentry process and leverage resources indigenous to that community."

Gerald Miller, Director of Community-Based Services, says that these services must be available to everybody. "Support, is perhaps the most important aspect of success. It doesn't matter if you are four years old, or 44." This support can materialize in many ways: Booker Gray, of CJCJ's Placement Diversion and Reentry Program (PDRP), says support can come simply from family or friends who want to make a difference in a justice-involved person's life. 

It is encouraging to see reentry prioritized at the national level because there is still much to be improved. Daniel Reyes points to "the stigma alone being a barrier to successful to reentry," and Gerald Miller declares that "unjust laws and racist systems of incarceration must be dismantled." Patsy Jackson of CJCJ's No Violence Alliance (NoVA) alluded to the crises caused by lack of housing; "Without any way to get a night's rest, being productive at a job or attending group therapy is impossible."

Donate to support CJCJ's reentry services >> 

Find out more about CJCJ's direct service programs >>


CJCJ testifies before Senate, advocates for community opportunity

The CA Senate Budget Subcommittee on Corrections, Public Safety, and the Judiciary asks CJCJ's Brian Goldstein to testify on community engagement 

Brian Goldstein testifies Budget Sub 5

On April 7th, the California Senate Budget Subcommittee on Corrections, Public Safety, and the Judiciary (“Budget Sub. 5”) held a hearing to discuss important criminal justice policy. The hearing agenda put special focus on the Board of State and Community Corrections (BSCC), the agency that will be responsible for distributing 65 percent of Prop. 47 state savings and $250 million in jail construction funding proposed in the Governor’s FY 2016-17 budget. 

The Budget Sub. 5 asked CJCJ's Director of Policy and Development, Brian Goldstein, to provide testimony before the committee regarding the BSCC's process of community engagement, or lack thereof. In his testimony, Goldstein said, "[P]olicy making at the agency is overwhelmingly dominated by law enforcement. There are few community members, direct service providers, young people, or formerly incarcerated people on executive steering committees or in leadership positions.” 

On April 14, the BSCC Board approved the executive steering committee (ESC) that will create an application, and decide which organizations receive funding derived from Prop. 47 state savings. CJCJ and other advocates will continue to monitor the BSCC processes regarding Prop. 47 and other critical criminal justice policy. 

See CJCJ's previous work around the BSCC >>


San Francisco leadership discusses Prop. 47's impact on crime

On a panel hosted by New America Media, Erica Webster presented CJCJ's recent report analyzing Prop. 47's effect on crime. 

Jeff Adachi/Erica Webster

On April 21st, CJCJ participated on a media briefing panel hosted by New America Media to discuss the impacts of Prop. 47 on crime. Panel members included San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon, Public Defender Jeff Adachi, CJCJ, and Hillary Blout from Californians for Safety and Justice. 

CJCJ's Communications and Policy Analyst, Erica Webster, presented arecent report, authored by Senior Research Fellow Mike Males, examining Prop. 47's effect on crime. The report compares FBI crime data for California’s 68 largest cities to prison releases as a result of Prop. 47 and overall county jail population decreases. Ultimately, the report concludes that it is too early to determine whether the policy impacted crime, but that available data shows urban crime did not correlate with decreases in county jail populations or Prop. 47-related prison releases.

“As jail populations are decreasing, the crime rates are not increasing,” Erica Webster said, pointing to examples of counties that saw similar decreases in their county jail and prison populations, but widely varying changes in urban crime. She also referred to 2011's Public Safety Realignment, a reform that coincided with increased crime in its first year, but was ultimately followed by two years of declining crime. “It’s too soon to measure Prop. 47’s impact,” Webster concluded. 

Read the full report "Is Proposition 47 to Blame for California's 2015 Increase in Urban Crime?" >>


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Keywords: Booker Gray, Brian Goldstein, BSCC, Budget Sub 5, Community-Based Services, Daniel Reyes, Erica Webster, Gerald Miller, Juvenile Collaborative Reentry Unit, juvenile justice services, Kimo Uila, Matt Snope, Mike Males, National Reentry Week, No Violence Alliance, NoVA, Patsy Jackson, PDRP, Placement Diversion Reentry Program, proposition 47, reentry, report, San Francisco, San Francisco Training Partnership, SFTP

Posted in Publications, Newsletter, Political Landscape, Proposition 47, Social Justice

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