Reentry Courts

Reentry Court Summit Faculty Materials Available

Reentry Court Summit was held
April 21, 2014
Learn more.
What is a reentry court? How do they work?

In California, a reentry court is a type of collaborative justice court for individuals who have been released from prison, have violated their terms of community supervision, and have a history of substance abuse or mental health issues.

Although reentry courts operate slightly different across counties, the following program components are common to all reentry courts in California.

  • Decisions about a participant’s case are determined by the reentry court team which is led by the judge and usually includes a defense attorney, a prosecutor, a parole officer, a probation officer, and treatment staff and/or case managers.
  • Reentry court participants are assessed for their risk of re-offending and for their treatment needs. Treatment and community supervision plans are then created based on the information obtained from these assessments.
  • Participants attend regularly scheduled court sessions, usually one to four times a month, to discuss their adherence to their supervision/treatment plans and other program requirements.
  • Graduated sanctions, such as admonishments, increased frequency of mandatory court sessions, and jail sanctions, are used to respond to non-compliant behaviors. Incentives, such as verbal praise, reduced frequency of court hearings, and transportation or food vouchers, are used to reward and encourage participants’ progress.
  • Participants remain in the program and receive services, such as case management and substance abuse and mental health treatment, for approximately 12-18 months. Once participants successfully complete the program, reentry courts can recommend early discharge from community supervision.

California's Reentry Court Programs

Select from the below links for information on existing programs, eligibility requirements, history, and resources.
Reentry Court Summit April 21, 2014

Click here to view the agenda and faculty materials for the event.

A Reentry Court Summit titled "Court Programs and Practices for Working with Reentry, PRCS, and Mandatory Supervision Populations" was held on APRIL 21, 2014 in San Francisco, CA at the offices of the AOC. Invitations were sent to existing programs and to courts interested in starting up a reentry court program.

Topics covered included:

  • Parolee Reentry Courts
  • Reentry Courts for the Mandatory Supervision and PRCS populations
  • Affordable Care Act
  • Harlem Reentry Court: National Prospective
  • Innovative Programs that Serve Reentry Populations
  • Probation and Parole Staff
  • Service Providers

California Reentry Courts and Eligibility Requirements

Alameda

Eligibility requirements: Individual must be on parole or post-release community supervision and have at least one year remaining on supervision. The individual must have violated their conditions of supervision and have a history of substance abuse or mental health issues.

For more information on Alameda's Reentry Court program, contact:
Alameda Superior Court;

Los Angeles
Eligibility requirements: This program is for women on parole or post-release community supervision who have been charged with a felony offense and are facing a state prison sentence. To be eligible participants must have a history of substance abuse or mental health issues.

For more information on the Los Angeles Reentry Court program, contact:
Los Angeles Superior Court;

San Diego
Eligibility requirements: Individual must be on parole or post-release community supervision and facing a state prison sentence for a non-violent non-sex offense. Program Manual

For more information on San Diego's Reentry Court Program, contact:
San Diego County District Attorney;

San Joaquin
Eligibility requirements: Individual must be on parole or post-release community supervision. The individual must have violated their conditions of supervision and have a history of substance abuse or mental health issues. Program Manual

For more information on San Joaquin's Reentry Court program, contact:
San Joaquin Superior Court

Santa Clara
Eligibility requirements: Individual must be on parole, post-release community supervision, or mandatory supervision. The individual must have violated their conditions of supervision and have a history of substance abuse or mental health issues. Program Manual

For more information on Santa Clara's reentry court program, contact:
Santa Clara Superior Court

History of Reentry Courts in California

In the Budget Act of 2009, the Legislature provided $9.5 million in federal Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) funds to be distributed over a period of three years for the establishment or expansion of up to seven reentry pilot courts in California.

The program was designed to protect public safety while providing an alternative to incarceration for offenders who would benefit from community treatment services. This legislation transferred the jurisdiction of parolees in the reentry court from state parole to the court. Under the pilot program reentry courts were to employ a collaborative court model and accept parolees or individuals on post-release community supervision (person released from prison and supervised by county probation) who have violated their terms of supervision and have a history of either substance abuse or mental health issues.

The courts who participated in the original pilot program were: Alameda, Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, San Joaquin, and Santa Clara. These reentry court programs began operations between October 2010 and January 2011.

Evaluating Reentry Cout Programs

The Administrative Office of the Courts is currently conducting an evaluation on reentry courts. Final findings will be available early 2014.

Penal Code § 3015(e)(2) states that the Administrative Office of the Courts(AOC)/Judicial Council shall design and perform an evaluation of the program that will assess its effectiveness in reducing recidivism among parolees and offenders subject to postrelease supervision and reducing revocations.

The AOC received additional funding from the California Endowment to expand the scope of the evaluation and the AOC is now working with NPC Research to complete the evaluation of the reentry court pilot program. Two preliminary reports have been produced by the AOC and can be accessed here:

AOC Briefing: A Preliminary Look at California Parolee Reentry Courts June 2012

Preliminary Report, California Parolee Reentry Courts 2012

Education and Resources

Tools for courts interested in starting a reentry court:

Council of State Governments Justice Center,

National Reentry Resource Center

Starting a Reentry Initiative

Education:

Learn more about collaborative justice.

Collaborative Justice Courts

Publications:

AOC Briefing: A Preliminary Look at California Parolee Reentry Courts June 2012

Preliminary Report, California Parolee Reentry Courts 2012


 

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