In order to decrease the number of individuals incarcerated and under probation and parole supervision, the County of Santa Clara is focusing on developing a comprehensive effort that addresses the needs and risks of former offenders. The County's Reentry Program represents a new way of doing business.
On March 1, 2011, at the request of Supervisor George Shirakawa, the Board of Supervisors established a cross-system Re-Entry Network to develop and implement a re-entry plan for the county. The Network is expected to identify comprehensive re-entry and recidivism reduction strategies to elevate existing efforts, streamline processes to link inmates to effective in-custody and community-based programming, identify cost-saving methods, and prepare Santa Clara County for the realignment of parolees and low-level prisoners under the Public Safety Realignment Act (AB109).
In an effort to reduce the number of offenders incarcerated in the California prison system and assist in alleviating the State's financial crisis, AB 109 was signed into law on April 4, 2011. Subsequently, on June 30, 2011, AB 117 was signed by Governor Brown, further outlining the provisions of Realignment. This Act shifts the responsibility for inmates convicted of non-serious, non-violent, non-sex offenses to local jurisdictions by requiring them to serve their sentence in local jails rather than in State prisons, pursuant to the newly added Penal Code §1170(h). All inmates serving local sentences will now come under the post-release supervision of local agencies, Post Release Community Supervision (PRCS) offenders. Additionally, this legislation changes the sentencing laws to keep these offenders from being committed to State prisons.