The program is designed to let mothers who are going through alcohol and substance abuse treatment live with their children in a safe and supportive environment. Keeping these families together is usually far better for the children, and the prospect of keeping their kids often provides moms with the extra incentive they need to complete the program successfully. It saves money for the County because the alternative is often foster care for the kids and incarceration for the moms.
Clean and Sober living was originally run by a faith-based non-profit organization and funded partially by Stanislaus County. The local dollars allowed the program to get federal grants that made up most of its budget. But in 2008, 2009 and 2010 the recession forced Stanislaus County, and many other local governments, to make some difficult decisions. They had to cut sheriff’s deputies, firefighters and other necessities, and eventually, they had to eliminate funding for Clean and Sober Living too.
I admit, there are times when I wish it was a little simpler to use my smart phone to just make a phone call. But for every time I struggle to find my way back to the keyboard, there are at least five times when I am thankful for this app, or that function that makes my life easier. What was the name of that restaurant again? Is it on 9th or 10th street? Where is the nearest gas station? Smart phones are supposed to make our lives easier with that type of information at our fingertips, and now thanks to the Sacramento County Registrar of Voters, your smart phone can even make it easier for you to participate as a voter!
Kids who end up in Juvenile Hall have done something illegal. Why should their stay there be anything other than punishment? As the head of Sonoma County’s Juvenile Hall told me, “The kids in here today are going to get out, and they are going to be your neighbors, and your kid’s classmates.” Punishment is part of it, but so is rehabilitation. That’s why Sonoma County Juvenile Hall has formed a unique partnership with the Boys and Girls Club in their community.
“The Club” took over some space inside Juvenile Hall, installed some games, computers, and lightened up the institutional look with paint, posters and some comfortable furniture. They provide activities, fun, and a safe environment for the kids to play, to learn, and to be just kids for a while, instead of kids in “Juvi.” But the most important thing “the Club” provides is incentive. The Club is the carrot at the end of the stick.
Everyone likes a “Win-Win” situation—a solution to a problem that meets everyone’s needs. In Tehama County, they had a problem, and the solution they came up with has been a “win” on several levels. The AB 109 Auto Shop won a 2013 CSAC Challenge Award because it is reducing the jail population, training inmates, saving money for the Sheriff’s Department AND reducing costs and downtime for other county departments when their vehicles need maintenance and repairs. Here’s how it works.
A couple of years ago, Tehama County Sheriff Dave Hencratt needed to reduce his jail population and find ways to reduce recidivism in his community. This was all part of AB 109—Public Safety Realignment—a state law that transferred a significant number of low-risk criminal offenders from state jurisdiction to the counties.
I went to two events this week that I think are worthy of some thought and discussion. The first provided some real insight into how government ought to, and often does work. What I learned at the second event—well, it is cause for concern for anybody connected with government, business, or the news media. And [...]