The Purpose – AB 109

In 2011, California legislators made historical changes to the state’s criminal justice system.

Under Assembly Bill AB 109 known as Public Safety Realignment, thousands of felons now serve their sentences in County jail instead of state prisons. Many offenders released from prison after completing their sentences are now supervised by County Probation instead of State Parole. While realignment was the state’s solution to long-standing problems including overcrowded prisons, budget deficits and high rates of criminals committing new crimes and returning to prison, it created an unprecedented challenge for local governments and law enforcement agencies.

The Black-Brown Summit Planning Committee is convening a cross section of local and state leaders to educate stakeholders regarding the impact of AB 109 and its implementation challenges.

The Summit will be an exciting opportunity to share empirical data, identify best practices and model programs that enhance public safety as it pertains to our communities of all ethnicities.

Goals

  • To educate relevant stakeholders regarding AB 109 and the disproportionate impact of incarceration and recidivism on communities of color.
  • To create an action agenda, for collaborative partnerships that address the barriers faced by African American and Latino formerly incarcerated inmates, who have a desire to successfully reintegrate back into their local community.
  • To present evidenced-based research designed to assist communities with reentry challenges and strategies aimed at reducing recidivism.

Objectives

  • To establish community partners who will explore culturally relevant approaches and solutions.
  • To establish profiles and processes that give ex-felons the best chance of re-entering communities without returning to jail.
  • To develop positive working relationships between law enforcement and stakeholders as it relates to AB 109.

Outcomes

  • Participants will have a greater understanding of AB 109 and the potential impacts on its community.
  • Stakeholders and community leaders will be educated on the importance of providing culturally relevant responses when serving communities of color.
  • Participants will receive valuable contact information with state and local organizations that will help them develop strategies and solutions to AB 109.
  • Dialogue and networking between community agencies will foster collaborative thinking, relationships and approaches toward problem solving.
  • Participants will hear directly from criminal justice experts who will increase their awareness of the internal and external issues, challenges and opportunities.
  • New relationships will be formed to further local and statewide discussions on reentry and recidivism.

Faith and Character Development

  • Will enhance public safety through community partnerships that will support the offender’s successful transition from custody to community.
  • Will provide an atmosphere for offender to develop interpersonal communication skills,
  • Will provide an environment for positive change through the promotion of personal accountability and responsibility, integrity, and the building of one’s faith and character.
  • Coordinated community partnerships in conjunction with Faith Based Organizations, will enhance existing risk interventions and services to participants and will have a spiritual based support factor.

Developing a Women Centered Approach

  • Gender - Acknowledge that gender makes a difference.
  • Environment - Create an environment based on safety, respect and dignity.
  • Relationships - Develop policies, practices, and programs that are relational and promote healthy connections to children, family, significant others and the community.
  • Services and Supervision - Address substance abuse, trauma and mental health issues through comprehensive, integrated, culturally relevant services and appropriate supervision.
  • Socioeconomic Status - Provide women with opportunities to improve their socioeconomic conditions.
  • Community - Establish a system of community with supervision and reentry with comprehensive, collaborative services.