Senator Anthony J. Portantino’s (D – La Cañada Flintridge) post release services referral program bill SB 620 has been signed by Governor Newsom. The bill was suggested and sponsored by the Pasadena Police Department and would allow local law enforcement agencies to share access to helpful information to those under supervised release and help connect them directly with non-profit service providers.
“I am very glad that this effort by the Pasadena PD has proven to be so successful and they suggested to expand the program. Pasadena has had tremendous success lowering recidivism and working to connect releases with services. SB 620 will further enhance those efforts. Our local numbers don’t lie as Pasadena has a substantially lower recidivism rate than Los Angeles County and the State,” said Senator Portantino.
SB 620 would allow individuals to have their contact information released to non-profit providers as well as city and county services. It helps eliminate the gaps that currently exist between previously incarcerated community members and the service providers that assist in breaking the cycle of recidivism through case management, systems navigation, financial literacy, apprentice preparation, mental health, and substance abuse programming.
“A deeper access to non-profits committed to servicing persons most in need can help transform lives by developing living wage careers and breaking the barriers to successful untreated trauma and effective substance abuse treatment. The Pasadena Police Department stands by Senator Portantino’s efforts in uplifting people affected by violence and incarceration by helping to reduce recidivism and healing communities as a whole. The relationships between law enforcement and the communities they serve must be grounded in trust in order to ensure safety and protections to all and the Senator’s efforts allow the further building of these relationships,” stated Chief John E. Perez from the Pasadena Police.
When someone is released from incarceration, they are returned to their city of residence without guidance or the needed resources to get their life back on track. Law enforcement officials have release data and the personal information of every parolee and Post Release Community Supervision probationer. However, they cannot connect these previously incarcerated community members to service providers or release this information. As they cannot connect those previously incarcerated with service providers that can help them, it is hard to break the cycle of recidivism.
In Los Angeles County, 47% of community members who return from incarceration repeat offend and are re-incarcerated within three years. This results in predictable, preventable community violence, and trauma in neighborhoods where we raise our children. By having contact information of those returning to society, service providers focusing their efforts and grant funds on previously incarcerated community members would help those individuals succeed.
In addition to the Pasadena PD’s support, the bill was supported by the Riverside Sheriff Department and by the California Police Chiefs Association.