Since California voters approved Proposition 47, the Reduced Penalties for Some Crimes Initiative in 2014, inmate populations in prisons have fallen across the state.
The initiative funded the Proposition 47 Grant Program designed to support individuals with a history of incarceration to reconnect with their family members, contribute to their communities, and decrease the possibility of reoffending.
As a result of this grant program, Departments of Public Health around the state are able to support these individuals through the provision of mental health services, substance abuse treatment, and other support programs. The funding can also be used to provide other community-based support services such as job skills training, peer advocacy, and transportation services.
To this end, San Bernardino has approved a contract with Life Skills Awareness of Hesperia to provide recidivism reduction services, February 14, 2018, through August 15, 2020. The contract totals just shy of $579,000. Life Skills Awareness was awarded the contract over three others service providers who also responded to the county’s Request for Proposal.
The recommended contract with Life Skills Awareness will provide mental health and substance abuse services to qualified individuals. Additional support services will be provided through contracts with other agencies to be determined by county officials.
According to San Bernardino County Public Health Director Trudy Raymundo, her department will continue its collaboration with the state’s Department of Behavioral Health, Probation Department, Offices of the Public Defender, Sheriff’s Department, Workforce Development, and the county’s Support and Advocacy For Re-Entry and Transition Advisory Committee to provide social services, such as evidence-based substance abuse and mental health treatment to appropriate individuals upon their release from incarceration. The ultimate goal continues to be a reduction in recidivism.