Masters Thesis

A Project plan for prison realignment in the community of Bakersfield, California

California had to make changes. With an economic downturn and the Supreme Court poised to order our overcrowded prisons to reduce population, Governor Brown signed into law AB 109. It was enacted in April of 2011 and went into effect October 1, 2011. This legislation ruled nonviolent, non-serious and non–sex offenders would no longer be sentenced to state prison or be under parole supervision. These triple non-offenses would serve their time in county jails and be supervised in their communities under county probation. California has provided wide autonomy to its fifty eight counties in realigning offenders, establishing penance, and managing the millions of dollars veered from state funds to rehabilitate AB 109 offenders. Under the passing of AB 109, counties are encouraged to consider alternatives to incarceration and to adopt evidence-based practices. It is the responsibility of the Board of State and Community Corrections to provide leadership, coordination, and technical assistance to county agencies in utilizing evidence-based practices. Realigning the post release supervision of certain felons reentering to the local community will be the county’s responsibility to provide community-based punishment, evidence-based practices, and improved supervision strategies. Kern County will have to exercise more evidence- based techniques. I propose a project plan for AB 109 to benefit felons released to Kern County. This project plan will focus on the city of Bakersfield being it is the largest in Kern County. I propose a community residential supervision plan, a half-way house- Stanley Jean Gateways. In addition, I propose to open a resource center that will also benefit AB 109 felons. These will afford released inmates continued rehabilitation through providing room and board, community resources to aid in finding job placement and or job skills, continued education, and programs that treat substance abuse, address mental health concerns, offer parenting courses, and life skills counseling. It will serve as an evidence-based technique being documentation will be maintained on all offenders who utilize the services and their progress or regression can be noted.

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