Today's Law As Amended


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



As Amends the Law Today


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.

 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.