Saturday, August 30, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Homeless parolees weigh on California counties

California Prisons Homeless Parolees

Arthur Scott, who was paroled in March 2014 after serving time on his 22nd auto theft conviction, stands in front of an Oakland, Calif., Acura dealership on Tuesday, June 24, 2014. Scott, determined to stay out of jail and currently working while taking vocational classes, says he had stolen more than five cars from the dealership. (AP Photo/Noah Berger)

By
From page A1 | July 05, 2014 |

SANTA ANA — Gov. Jerry Brown based his recent overhaul of the state corrections system in part on the idea that having those convicted of lower-level crimes supervised by county probation officers instead of state parole agents when they are released would help them stay clean, find jobs and avoid committing new crimes.

A cornerstone of the law’s success is housing, yet county probation officers throughout the state say homelessness continues to undermine their ability to help ex-cons rehabilitate, get drug treatment and find jobs. Some California counties report that up to one in five of the parolees they supervise under the governor’s realignment law is homeless.

“You’ve got somebody and … they’re gang-involved, you want to get them in classes, but they live under a bridge,” said Andrew Davis, an analyst with the Santa Cruz County Probation Department. “They’re not going to show up; they don’t know what day of the week it is.”

Counties across the state are dealing with the problem in different ways. Many are trying a patchwork of solutions as they adapt.

In Marin County, probation officers sometimes pick homeless parolees up at the prison gates and pay for motel rooms until they can find a bed. Santa Cruz County has contracted with local homeless shelters, a move that stirred controversy last year.

Homeless parolees in Riverside County are required to check in at an electronic kiosk and have their photo taken daily. In San Diego County, where nearly 400 former prison inmates are reporting as homeless, there’s a plan to spend $3 million to add 150 shelter beds. Parolees who say they are homeless must check in weekly with probation.

In Los Angeles County, where 758 convicts released under realignment say they have no permanent address, county attorneys are considering whether being homeless could be classified as an automatic violation of a parolee’s terms of release. That’s in part because many counties are finding that former inmates will claim homelessness to avoid close supervision.

Los Angeles has spent more than $6.5 million on housing for convicts who would have previously been the responsibility of state parole.

Counties say the number of lower-level offenders – defined as those who have committed crimes that are non-serious, non-sexual and non-violent – who are homeless upon their release has not necessarily changed since the realignment law took effect in 2011. State officials are still tallying the number.

The difference is that previously, these felons were the state’s responsibility. Counties are not strangers to dealing with homeless probationers, but now the numbers have increased.

“By and large, the speed with which this whole thing was rolled out created some challenges for everybody,” said Los Angeles County Probation Deputy Chief Reaver Bingham, who is forming homeless task forces in which probation officers will have 20 offenders to monitor instead of 75 to 100.

“We anticipated there would be a homeless population, but how to provide services?” he said. “We had to work feverishly to put together a program to deal with it.”

In Riverside County, probation officials have struggled to set up long-term housing, in part because of resistance from local communities, Probation Chief Mark Hake said.

“There’s a lot of concern … that these offenders are running the streets and it’s bad for everybody’s community,” said Hake, who estimates up to 10 percent of new parolees are homeless. “What everybody’s missing is these people were coming out before, but they were just going to parole and nobody knew about them.”

The realignment law was passed as part of the response to federal judges who ordered a drastic reduction in California’s inmate population. Redirecting those convicted of lower-level offenses to county jails was intended to save space in state prisons while providing a modest savings for the state.

One of the law’s goals is turning around an abysmal recidivism rate with rehabilitation programs run by local authorities, who often partner with nonprofit groups and mental health workers. Stable housing is critical to the success of those programs. The recidivism rate before realignment had reached 67 percent, one of the highest in the nation.

“The need for housing is always very high,” said Sean Becker, a housing services coordinator with Abode Services in Alameda County, which has a contract to provide beds for recently released state inmates. “If people have housing, they’re less likely to have mental health issues and break the law again.”

That’s been the case for Arthur Scott.

When Scott was released in March after serving time on his 22nd auto theft conviction, probation officials referred him to Becker’s nonprofit for housing. Scott, who has never been free for more than two weeks in the past 22 years, has been living on his own for three months. He is sober, working toward a janitorial certificate and has a job parking cars at an auction lot.

For him, stable housing was critical, he said. Each time he was released, he found himself homeless or in a halfway house with other men who did drugs and he would get re-arrested within days.

“I drove a Phantom Rolls Royce yesterday. I’m getting paid to do what I love. A year ago, I would have stolen every car in that damn lot,” said Scott, 51, of his new job. “That’s when I realized, ‘You know what? You’ve changed.’ And I have changed.”

The Associated Press

The Associated Press

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 1 comment

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • PornacJuly 05, 2014 - 5:25 pm

    Stable housing is a bridge without crumbling concrete. It gets in my soup.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
.

Solano News

Clarksburg family rolls with times

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A1, 3 Comments | Gallery

 
Fresh, fruity, summer and fall Delta pitstops

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A1

Saving the Gakuen: A bit of history tucked away in Clarksburg

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Old, new collide in Freeport

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A1

Vacaville honors top crossing guards

By Brad Stanhope | From Page: A2

 
State lifts Solano moth quarantine

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A3, 1 Comment

 
 
 
Gallo subsidiary wins bid for Winterhawk Winery

By Barry Eberling | From Page: B10, 3 Comments | Gallery

No plea as suspect in Suisun slaying appears in court

By Jess Sullivan | From Page: A12, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
Fairfield police log: Aug. 28, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

Suisun City police log: Aug. 28, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

 
The Leaven helps reach at-risk kids

By Murray Bass | From Page: B12

 
Weather for Saturday, Aug. 30, 2014

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B13

.

US / World

Man is guilty of murder after his dogs kill woman

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4, 3 Comments

 
California teacher reprimanded for sending tweets

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

N. California officer accused of beating woman

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

 
California appeals teacher tenure ruling

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

Feds critical of California twin tunnel project

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 3 Comments

 
California mentally ill inmates get special units

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5 | Gallery

Lawmakers pass first California groundwater rules

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 4 Comments

 
Lawmakers send gun restraining order bill to Brown

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

California marijuana grow stole reservation water

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
1K-pound alligator caught in Alabama sets record

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Manatees may lose endangered species status

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Marathon bombing suspect: Delay trial until 2015

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Border Patrol agent fires at armed militia member

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6, 1 Comment

 
Rescuers locate 20 of 24 trapped in Nicaragua mine

By The Associated Press | From Page: A8

At heart of Syria fears, extremists returning home

By The Associated Press | From Page: A8

 
Experimental Ebola drug heals all monkeys in study

By The Associated Press | From Page: A8

Westerners linked to extremist groups in Syria

By The Associated Press | From Page: A8

 
.

Opinion

Editorial Cartoons: Aug. 30, 2014

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A11

 
 
Zombies are not for fun

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A11, 9 Comments

Cheers, jeers for the week of Aug. 24-30, 2014

By Daily Republic | From Page: A11

 
.

Living

Today in History: Aug. 30, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: Aug. 30, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

Horoscopes: Aug. 30, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: B7

 
Our irresponsible sister is getting the house and mistreats Mom

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: B7

.

Entertainment

Ex-Myanmar beauty queen accused of stealing crown

By The Associated Press | From Page: A8, 1 Comment

 
Chris Brown due back in DC court for plea hearing

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

Fire destroys house on late author Clancy’s estate

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

 
Chelsea Clinton quits as NBC News reporter

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9, 1 Comment

Daughter: Joan Rivers is in ‘serious condition

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

 
Hip-hop moves as strong force for Michael Brown

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

Cee Lo Green enters no contest plea in drug case

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9, 1 Comment

 
.

Sports

 
No. 11 Stanford set to open season vs. UC Davis

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

After eventful offseason, Northwestern meets Cal Bears in opener

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
49ers linebacker Aldon Smith suspended by NFL

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Prep volleyball: Vacaville Christian falls to D-I power Davis

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B2

 
JC women’s soccer: Solano kicks off season with 0-0 draw

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B2

 
Raiders face decisions at QB heading into opener

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

Pernice, Bryant share Champions Tour lead

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
I.K. Kim increases Portland Classic lead

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

A’s fall back in AL West, blanked by Angels

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4 | Gallery

 
Posey goes 5 for 5 in 6 innings, Giants rout Brewers

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4 | Gallery

Errani’s ‘cottage cheese’ serve tops Venus at Open

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4 | Gallery

 
Palmer opens with a 63 to lead in Boston

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
This date in sports history for Saturday, Aug. 30, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

Tony Stewart back at the track, looking to heal

By The Associated Press | From Page: B13

 
.

Business

.

Obituaries

Florence Virginia Boes

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

 
Darrell D. Stevens

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

.

Comics

For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
.

Home Seller 08/30/14

Real estate transactions for Aug. 30, 2014

By Daily Republic | From Page: HSR2