New L.A. Program to Help Small-Time Offenders from Making Repeat Visits to Jail

It will connect those convicted of non-serious, non-violent and non-sexual offenses with education and job opportunities.

Patch file photo.
Patch file photo.

Attorney General Kamala Harris wants to create an anti-recidivism pilot program where the state will partner with the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department and several foundations to help keep those jailed for relatively minor offenses from committing new crimes once they are released.

The so-called Back on Track LA program will aim to reduce levels of repeat offenses by connecting those convicted of non-serious, non-violent and non-sexual offenses with education and job opportunities to help "get their lives back on track," Harris said Thursday.

The program will offer offenders education and re-entry services -- including life skills instruction -- before and after they are released from custody, she said.

Each offender will be assigned a case manager or coach to develop a plan that holds individuals accountable, Harris said.

The program will encompass the last 12 to 18 months of incarceration and the 12 months after release, she said.

Participants will be limited to those offenders incarcerated in the Los Angeles County jail system.

Foundations involved in the program include the Ford Foundation, Rosenberg Foundation, California Community Foundation, California Wellness Foundation and the California Endowment.

"We must reject the false choice of being 'tough' or 'soft' on crime," Harris said. "It is time for smart on crime policies that keep our communities safe, hold offenders accountable and reduce our prison population."

--City News Service


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