Yesterday, Governor Newsom signed into law a budget which includes significant funding for rehabilitative programming inside CA prisons, reentry services for returning citizens, support for survivors & victims of crimes, & age-appropriate care for system-involved youth. Notably, the state will fully fund our Hope & Redemption Team (HART), in which ARC Life Coaches who served life sentences go back inside to provide parole board preparation, rehabilitative programming, & reentry support to those still in confinement. The funding will allow HART to operate in 31 prisons.
Also included in this budget are the following investments in our incarcerated & free communities.
- Provides $27 mil ongoing General Fund to establish the Office of Youth & Community Restoration that was created in the Health & Human Services Agency pursuant to SB 823.
- Reduces the debt of low-income Californians by eliminating various criminal administrative fees.
- Includes a “Rehabilitation, Re-entry & Recidivism Reduction” package of $200+ million. This package includes career development, rehabilitative programming, family connection, local support for individuals to remain out of the criminal justice system, & removal of barriers to successful re-entry. The HART funding comes from this package.
- Pine Grove Conservation Camp will remain open to provide opportunities for incarcerated youth to assist in fire prevention. Pine Grove provides critical reentry & job training to justice-involved youth, while counties across CA can send youth to Pine Grove without committing them to Division of Juvenile Justice (DJJ).
- A focus on survivors & victims of crime with $175 mil for various programs to support survivors of domestic violence, sexual violence, human trafficking & forced sterilization. Includes $50 mil for homeless youth emergency services & housing programs.
We applaud the CA legislature & Gov. Newsom for investing in the expansion of credible-messenger programming, bringing this program to 110 total prison yards. This decision will have strong fiscal & humanitarian returns as recidivism is reduced & community well-being is increased both inside & outside.