It is our common mission to protect community safety. Our ability to make progress toward this goal requires collaboration and partnership with all of the components of the adult criminal justice system, education, social services; substance abuse, mental health, and community-based services in San Diego County. Based on our common goal, we have formed the Community Corrections Partnership (CCP).
While the desire to convene this partnership committee is long standing, the formation of the CCP was prompted by the passage of Senate Bill 678; The California Community Corrections Performance Incentive Act of 2009. This bill requires that each county that receives funding under the act convene a local Community Corrections Partnership. Moreover, the bill requires that the partnership is chaired by the Chief Probation Officer and includes: The Presiding Judge of the Superior Court; the County CAO; the District Attorney; the Public Defender; the Sheriff; a Police Chief; the county heads of: Department of Social Service; County Mental Health; Alcohol and Drug services; employment; County Office of Education; and a representative from a community-based organization.
SB 678 provides funds to probation departments to be used to reduce the number of adult probationers revoked from probation and sentenced to prison. Funds will come from savings realized by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) through cost avoidance. Reduction in revocations to prison must come through the use of evidence based practices.
The agenda for the first meeting was to discuss the ways that implementing evidence based practices crosses each criminal justice organization. Meetings have been spent formulating and agreeing upon a plan that will assist in the rehabilitation of probationers and the reduction in the number of probationers who are sent to state prison.
Recent changes were made to the CCP by AB109, the Public Safety Realignment Act. This 652 page law changes the definition of a felony, shifts housing for lower level offenders from prison to local jail, and transfers supervision of designated parolees from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) to Probation.
Felons who have committed non-violent, non-serious and non-sex offenses (N3) will be housed in local jail. Those released from state prison, Post Release Offenders (PRO), will be supervised by Probation. Four thousand offenders in these two groups will utilize county funded substance abuse, mental health and other services in the community.
This shift requires San Diego County to more effectively and efficiently manage offenders while maintaining high standards of public safety.
An executive committee, as part of the CCP, has been formed and charged with approving an implementation plan and presenting it to the County Board of Supervisors. The executive committee is comprised of the Chief Probation Officer as chair, the District Attorney, Public Defender, a Court representative, a Chief of Police, the Sheriff of the County, and the head of the department of Social Services.