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AB-561 Rehabilitation programs: statewide evaluation.(2019-2020)

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Date Published: 03/26/2019 09:00 PM
AB561:v98#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Assembly  March 26, 2019

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2019–2020 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 561


Introduced by Assembly Members Burke and Cooper

February 13, 2019


An act to add Section 2068 to the Penal Code, relating to prisons.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 561, as amended, Burke. Prisons: rehabilitation programs. Rehabilitation programs: statewide evaluation.
Existing law establishes the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation to operate the state prison system. Existing law establishes various rehabilitation programs for inmates in the state prison, including literacy, education, and vocational training programs.
This bill would make legislative findings and declarations regarding rehabilitation programs operated in state prisons, and would express the intent of the Legislature to require the department to improve the effectiveness of those programs by, among other things, improving the efficient use of existing resources. prisons. The bill would require the department, by January 1, 2022, to complete a statewide evaluation of assessment tools currently used to determine an inmate’s recidivism risk and rehabilitation needs and, based on that evaluation, prepare a plan to update inmate receiving procedures, more effectively target rehabilitation programs, and improve performance measures, as specified. The bill would require the department to report its findings and plan to the Legislature by July 1, 2022.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: NOYES   Local Program: NO  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(a) According to a December 6, 2017, report by the Legislative Analyst’s Office entitled, “Improving In-Prison Rehabilitation Programs,” California state prisons house nearly 130,000 inmates.
(b) While incarcerated in prison, inmates often participate in various rehabilitation programs that seek to improve the likelihood that inmates will lead a productive, crime-free life upon release from prison by addressing the underlying factors that led to their criminal activity.
(c) The Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation offers inmates various rehabilitation programs while they are in prison, including education and substance use disorder treatment programs. The primary goal of those programs is to reduce recidivism—the number of inmates who reoffend after they are released from prison.
(d) Various studies show that when those programs are well designed and implemented effectively, they can reduce the number of inmates who recidivate, and the resulting savings can more than offset the costs of the programs.
(e) The department defines recidivism as being convicted of a subsequent crime within three years of release from prison. Of the 36,000 inmates released in the years 2012–13, the number of inmates who recidivated was 16,500, or 46 percent.
(f) Upon admission to prison, the department assesses an inmate’s rehabilitative needs and assigns the inmate to relevant rehabilitation programs.
(g) As of June 30, 2017, 98 percent of the inmate population received a rehabilitation risk assessment. Of those who received an assessment, roughly one-half had a moderate or high risk of recidivating.
(h) In the years 2015–16, almost one-half of inmates were released without receiving rehabilitation programs for which they had an assessed need.
SEC. 2.

It is the intent of the Legislature to require the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation to do all of the following with respect to rehabilitation programs operated in state prisons:

(a)More effectively target rehabilitation programs to inmates with the highest risk of recidivism and the highest need for rehabilitation services.

(b)Improve the efficient use of existing rehabilitation resources.

(c)Improve performance measures in order to conduct regular oversight.

SEC. 2.

 Section 2068 is added to the Penal Code, to read:

2068.
 (a) The department shall, by January 1, 2022, do both of the following with respect to rehabilitation programs operated in state prisons:
(1) Complete a statewide evaluation of assessment tools currently used in state prisons to determine an inmate’s risk of recidivating and need for rehabilitation services.
(2) Based on the findings of the statewide evaluation, prepare a plan to accomplish all of the following:
(A) Update inmate receiving procedures to utilize the most effective assessment tools.
(B) More effectively target rehabilitation programs to inmates with the highest risk of recidivism and highest need for rehabilitation services.
(C) Improve performance measures in order to conduct regular oversight.
(b) The department shall, by July 1, 2022, report to the Legislature regarding the findings of the statewide evaluation and the plan described in subdivision (a). The report shall be submitted in compliance with Section 9795 of the Government Code.