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The BSCC: A continued promise of oversight

The tapestry of California's criminal justice system is populated with state agencies, each working to improve corrections and rehabilitation.  While frequently unrecognized by an understandably busy public, these agencies nevertheless serve a necessary function.  One such body is California's Board of State and Community Corrections (BSCC), which grew out of the abolished Board of Corrections and subsequent Corrections Standards Authority.  The stated purpose of the board includes:

"...Providing statewide leadership, coordination, and technical assistance to promote effective state and local efforts and partnerships in California's adult and juvenile criminal justice system, including addressing gang problems."

The board includes four overarching divisions in areas related to:

~ Corrections Planning & Programs
~ County Facilities Construction
~ Facilities Standards & Operations
~ Standards and Training for Corrections 

Additionally, there are committees tasked on disproportionate minority contact and juvenile justice and delinquency prevention.

Of particular importance, 12 members populate the board, each drawn from clearly specified constituencies. This includes representatives from the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, law enforcement, the judiciary, and community providers.

CJCJ believes the BSCC offers promise for the comprehensive state oversight necessary to expand local capacity.  Brian Heller de Leon detailed the background of the BSCC, highlighting the stated goals of:

~ "reduction of juvenile and adult recidivism
~ limiting overall term public safety by using data-driven model practices
~ [limiting] corrections costs by prioritizing positive rehabilitative outcomes
~ increasing long-term public safety by using data-driven model practices"

Moreover, CJCJ supports the BSCC, as an aggressive vehicle to both monitor county juvenile justice programs, and foster programs that best serve high-needs youth.

The BSCC meets in Sacramento on Thursday, January 17 to discuss a number of relevant issues. Meetings are open to the public.  CJCJ hopes the board will follow through on the promise of oversight, first articulated in Senate Bill 92, for greater local capacity and accountability.  This requires dedication by members of the board and input from relevant stakeholders.  Perhaps as importantly, we can only benefit from greater public dialogue with Californians across the state -- one clamoring for a more fiscally sensible and effective justice system.

~ Brian Goldstein
CJCJ Communications and Policy

Keywords: Brian Goldstein, BSCC, state policy

Posted in Blog, Political Landscape, Technical Assistance

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