FAIRFIELD — Solano County criminal justice officials on Wednesday further explored establishing day reporting centers to help rehabilitate former state prison inmates under county supervision, with some moments of frustration.
The county Community Corrections Partnership wants to open a center in a county building at 355 Tuolumne St. in Vallejo and perhaps in Fairfield at a location-to-be-chosen, with the county Board of Supervisors to take final action. The issue has become controversial in Vallejo, where some residents have criticized the county’s public outreach and expressed fear a center will bring more crime to the community.
County supervisors in November 2012 balked at establishing a center until the county held public meetings in Vallejo. The county held one and plans to have another Jan. 31. Meanwhile, a Community Corrections Partnership subcommittee is looking further at the day reporting center issue.
Solano County Superior Court Judge Wendy Getty attended Wednesday’s meeting and expressed concern over what she called “significant delays” in starting a center.
“I’m calling on you to lead,” she told the Community Corrections Partnership.
The Community Corrections Partnership will discuss the issue again Feb. 13. The county Board of Supervisors is to at the very least receive an update Feb. 19.
The day reporting center issue is being prompted by California realignment policies that put some former prison inmates, deemed nonviolent, under county supervision. Solano County is supervising 390 former inmates who live in its cities. Of these, 40 percent are in Vallejo, 31 percent in Fairfield, 15 percent in Vacaville, 8 percent in Suisun City, 5 percent in Dixon and 1 percent in Benicia and Rio Vista.
Solano County in November 2012 considered opening a Vallejo day reporting center using $1.5 million in state money. This center would provide such services as counseling, substance abuse treatment and job and life skills classes to former inmates who already live in that city.
Some Vallejo residents and the Vallejo City Council objected to the way the county has handled the day reporting center plans. The Vallejo City Council voted that a center should open in Fairfield at the same time, with some council members saying Vallejo shouldn’t be the guinea pig.
County officials have argued that these former inmates are already in the community. Day reporting centers would provide services to help keep the former inmates from reoffending, they say.
The Community Corrections Partnership is considering changing the name from “day reporting center” to “probation assessment and risk reduction center.”
Chief Probation Officer Christopher Hansen said the term “day reporting center” creates the image of a place where people hang out all day, standing out in front smoking cigarettes. In reality, the center would be a place where the former inmates go to get specific services and then leave.
“It’s not a day reporting center,” Hansen said. “It’s more of a service center.”
Reach Barry Eberling at 427-6929 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/beberlingdr.