LOS ANGELES — Attorney General Kamala D. Harris today announced that two programs affiliated with the California Department of Justice’s efforts to reduce recidivism have been awarded grants totaling over $1.7 million from the U.S. Department of Labor and the Judicial Council of California. Both initiatives work in partnership with the California DOJ’s Division of Recidivism Reduction and Re-entry.
“These grants will support innovative initiatives that hold offenders accountable and connect them with the opportunities and tools they need to rebuild their lives,” said Attorney General Harris. “The grants are a critical investment in developing data and metrics to evaluate smart on crime initiatives and the long-term safety of our communities. I thank the U.S. Department of Labor and the Judicial Council of California for supporting our efforts to shut the revolving door of the criminal justice system.”
The DOJ Division of Recidivism, Reduction and Re-entry worked to secure both grant proposals and will provide technical assistance and evaluation of the programs that are being funded.
Friends Outside in Los Angeles County, Inc. will receive $1,360,000 from the U.S. Department of Labor for a program that provides assistance in gaining industry-recognized credentials and securing employment for individuals transitioning back into their communities. The Attorney General’s office will work with the organization to provide technical assistance in the planning, implementation, and collection of performance metrics of the program, and will also host a collaborative Employment Advisory board.
The Judicial Council of California will award $417,969 to “Court to College,” an alternative sentencing program that is a collaborative effort between the Attorney General’s Division of Recidivism, Reduction and Re-Entry, Los Angeles County Superior Court Norwalk, Los Angeles County Probation and Los Rios Community College. “Court to College” works to reduce recidivism though education, employment and addressing substance abuse issues.
Attorney General Harris has a career-long commitment to recidivism reduction work. In November 2013, Attorney General Harris created the Division of Recidivism Reduction and Re-Entry, an office designed to curb recidivism in the state by partnering with counties and District Attorneys on best practices and policy initiatives.
In March, the Attorney General announced the launch of “Back on Track LA,” a public-private recidivism reduction program developed in partnership with Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (LASD), Los Angeles County Probation Department, Los Angeles County Child Support Services Department, local community colleges, a local charter school and private foundations. The initiative was funded in part by a $750,000 federal grant from the U.S. Department of Justice Second Chance Act. It was one of only four initiatives in the country to receive this grant.
In 2005, then-San Francisco District Attorney Harris created a re-entry initiative called Back on Track, which aimed to reduce recidivism among certain low-level, non-violent drug offenders. Over a two-year period, the program reduced recidivism among its graduates to less than 10 percent. Back on Track was designated as a model program for law enforcement by the U.S. Department of Justice.