FAIRFIELD — Proposed service centers in Fairfield and Vallejo for former prison inmates under county supervision are getting a name change — and what proponents hope will also be an image change.
“Day reporting centers” has been the name used for more than a year. But local law enforcement and criminal justice officials on the Community Corrections Partnership decided Wednesday they can do better than that.
Centers when they open are now each to bear the name “Solano County Center for Positive Change.”
The name “day reporting center” gives the wrong impression, Chief Probation Officer Christopher Hansen said. People might envision a place where former inmates hang out all day.
The centers as proposed by the county are to be places where selected former inmates go to learn jobs skills, get cognitive behavioral therapy, get substance abuse prevention and mental health help and other services in an effort to keep them from committing further crimes. They would be at the center during assigned hours.
A name-change could lessen anxiety and fears over the proposed centers, a Community Corrections Partnership report said.
Some Vallejo residents have expressed concern over the proposed center to be located at the county building complex at 355 Tuolumne St. in that city. Among the stated fears is that the center would bring more crime to the neighborhood.
Hansen has said that the former inmates to be served by the center are already living in Vallejo. The center would expand the services they get to help stop them from committing further crimes.
Fairfield is also slated to get a center. As of yet, no sites have been publicly proposed. Hansen said the services would be provided initially at various existing county Probation Department and Health and Social Services locations in the city.
The Community Corrections Partnership recommended the county spend $1.7 million and add 10 full-time positions so it can open the Solano County Center for Positive Change in Vallejo and offer services in Fairfield. The Solano County Board of Supervisors will discuss the issue at a future meeting.
All of this is being driven by state realignment policies. California in late 2011 turned over responsibility for what it considers lower-level felons to county jails and probation departments. These felons previously would have gone to state prison or would have been under state parole supervision. The state also gave counties money to come up with new programs for these felons.
Solano County has about 394 inmates in its jails who previously would have been in state prison. The county Probation Department must supervise more than 400 former inmates who previously would have been on state parole.
Reach Barry Eberling at 427-6929 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/beberlingdr.