The San Bernardino County Sun ran an article today, “Local police feel weight of early prisoner release.” The article hits on the challenges local communities are facing form the impact of AB109, California’s Public Safety Realignment program, which transitions low-level offenders out of costly state prisons to local/county supervision for monitoring and treatment. The article highlights the issue of the distribution of funding to those local jurisdictions to manage the additional burden.
Studies have shown that releasing inmates early into society without enhanced supervision and evidence-based programming can create issues. Using technology to monitor these individuals can help local agencies supervise and hold these individuals accountable, but most agree that is not enough. Without proper treatment and cognitive programming, the chance for these individuals to succeed dramatically decreases, and the chance that these individuals will revert to their old bad habits increases.
Enhanced supervision should utilize technology to help supervise and hold these individuals accountable, but the local agencies also need to provide treatment resources to meet the needs of these individuals. Since most of these offender will be released without employment, it is also important to provide job placement and training opportunities, as well.
Although the state is providing funding to the local agencies to supervise this individuals, there is not enough money to properly manage everyone being released to the local agencies.
So what is the solution? Without all these components it is only a matter of time until a majority of these individuals go back to their old habits and end up back in prison. Where should the money come from? Should the parolees be responsible for some of the costs, or is this the responsibility of the state?