FAIRFIELD — Solano County will have a second community meeting to try to allay concerns about a proposed Vallejo day reporting center for former state prison inmates.
Then the county at some point will look at establishing a similar center in Fairfield.
The county’s stated goal is to keep former state prison inmates under county supervision from committing more crimes. Parolees going to the center would take part in programs ranging from substance abuse treatment to job skills classes, depending on individual needs.
County supervisors voted Tuesday to conduct a second Vallejo community meeting in January 2013 at a date to be named.
Many Vallejo residents at the initial Nov. 14 community meeting expressed concern about having a day reporting center established at the county’s Vallejo court complex at 355 Tuolumne St. About 120 people attended.
Citizens also sent emails to the county saying Vallejo already has enough crime and the center would draw more criminals to the city. County officials stressed that the center would serve only former inmates who live in Vallejo, not those from other cities.
“It shouldn’t be that controversial for us to work hard and change behaviors of people who live in a community and commit crimes in that community,” county Supervisor Linda Seifert said Tuesday.
County Supervisor Jim Spering has criticized the initial lack of public outreach done for the center. The county held meetings of its Community Corrections Partnership Team in Fairfield to discuss the proposal, but prior to a Nov. 14 meeting requested by the Board of Supervisors, had held no community outreach meetings in Vallejo. Some citizens said they were just learning of the proposal even as members of the Board of Supervisors were prepared to vote on it.
Spering made it clear Tuesday that he favors establishing a Vallejo day reporting center.
“You’re just seeing the tip of the iceberg,” Spering said. “The state is going to be divesting itself of these criminals and moving them into our community. We better have a plan to deal with it.”
He views the January 2013 meeting as a way to educate the public, he said.
“This is a county problem,” Spering said. “We’re starting off in Vallejo. Hopefully, there will be a reporting center in Fairfield.”
Supervisor Barbara Kondylis represents most of Vallejo on the Board of Supervisors.
“As I see it, this population is already living in Vallejo,” Kondylis said. “They already frequent this building (on Tuolumne Street). They are not getting much in the way of services now.”
Chief Probation Officer Christopher Hansen said the county has about 356 former state prison inmates under county supervision. About 41 percent live in Vallejo, 34 percent in Fairfield, 13 percent in Vacaville, 6 percent in Suisun City, 5 percent in Dixon and 1 percent in Rio Vista and Benicia.
Supervisor Mike Reagan said the state has transferred former inmates to the county’s supervision with only 35 percent of the money the state spent on them. The county is trying to do the best it can with those state funds, he said.
“This kind of program is one of those things we can do and can do soon,” Reagan said. “I would actually support moving forward right now.”
Reagan and Kondylis will not be on the Board of Supervisors when the board takes a vote, which is scheduled Feb. 5, 2013. Skip Thomson will take over Reagan’s seat and Vallejo City Councilwoman Erin Hannigan will take over Kondylis’ seat several weeks before that.
Solano County would spend about $1.5 million to establish the Vallejo day reporting center.
Reach Barry Eberling at 427-6929 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/beberlingdr.