Reducing Homelessness for People with Behavioral Health Needs Leaving Jails and Prisons
Report by The Council on Criminal Justice and Behavioral Health (CCJBH) and the Council of State Governments (CSG) Justice Center. February 2021
Homelessness is a longstanding problem in California, as it is in much of the U.S. While homelessness has many root causes, including
an overall lack of affordable housing and lack of coordination between social service systems, incarceration is a major risk factor. Nationally, people who are formerly incarcerated are almost 10 times more likely to experience homelessness than the general public.
In turn, people with behavioral health conditions, such as mental illnesses and substance use disorders, face increased risk of incarceration, compounding their already elevated risk of experiencing homelessness. Indeed, people with behavioral health conditions make up a significant proportion of California’s jail and prison populations; available data suggest that roughly one-third of people in the state’s prisons and jails have some level of mental health diagnosis.
The causes of the connections between homelessness, behavioral health conditions, and involvement with the criminal justice system are many. However, they are rooted in the deinstitutionalization of mental health care in the 1970s and 80s. This change came without a corresponding increase in the housing and community-based services needed to support people with mental illnesses living independently and resultedin an “institutional circuit” between shelters, jails, and emergency rooms.
The Justice Equity Services Index
Prosecutor Lobbying in the States,
The Prosecutors and Politics Project, June 2021
An Important New Study Looks At The Relationship Between Prosecutors & Politics, Including The Actions Of California’s Lobbyist District Attorneys
A new study by the “Prosecutors and Politics Project,” a research initiative at the University of North Carolina School of Law, looks at the role of prosecutors in the nation’s state criminal justice systems, with a focus on their their “political power,” specifically the power of DAs as lobbyists pushing for or against proposed legislation.
Addressing the Drivers of Criminal Justice Involvement to Advance Racial Equity
The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, Proceedings of a Workshop—in Brief (2021)
The Committee on Reducing Racial Inequalities in the Criminal Justice System of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine convened a workshop in March 2021 as part of its exploration of ways to reduce racial inequalities in criminal justice outcomes in the United States. This workshop, the second in a series of three, enabled the committee to gather information from a diverse set of stakeholders and experts to inform the consensus study process. Speakers discussed the numerous interrelated factors that shape racial inequalities in the criminal justice system. Presentations focused on issues and promising solutions in health and well-being, in both neighborhood and opportunity contexts, as well as in youth-serving systems, as they relate to reducing racial inequality. This publication highlights the presentations of the workshop.
Reinstating Common Sense: How driver's license suspensions for drug offenses unrelated to driving are falling out of favor
Prison Policy Initiative Report: A misguided federal law from the War on Drugs threatened states with reduced highway funding if states did not begin automatically suspending the driver's license of anyone convicted of a drug offense, even in cases unrelated to driving. These license suspensions, which last at least 6 months, struggle to find and keep employment for lack of transportation because of these needless license suspensions. Our new research found that more than 190,000 driver's licenses are suspended every year for non-driving drug offenses, and illustrates why this policy sets people up to fail.
Slamming the Courthouse Door: 25 years of evidence for repealing the Prison Litigation Reform Act
Prison Policy Initiative, by Andrea Fenster & Margo Schlanger, April 26, 2021
Twenty-five years ago today, in 1996, President Bill Clinton signed the Prison Litigation Reform Act. The “PLRA,” as it is often called, makes it much harder for incarcerated people to file and win federal civil rights lawsuits. For two-and-a-half decades, the legislation has created a double standard that limits incarcerated people’s access to the courts at all stages: it requires courts to dismiss civil rights cases from incarcerated people for minor technical reasons before even reaching the case merits, requires incarcerated people to pay filing fees that low-income people on the outside are exempt from, makes it hard to find representation by sharply capping attorney fees, creates high barriers to settlement, and weakens the ability of courts to order changes to prison and jail policies.
What Jails Cost
A Look at Spending in America’s Large Cities
Vera Institute of Justice
- There were more than 10 million jail bookings in 2019.
- Nationally, jails cost taxpayers $25 billion per year.
- Jail employee payroll accounts for 73 percent of jails’ budgets.
The 2020 Annual Homeless Assessment Report (AHAR) to Congress
US Department of Housing and Urban Development
Some of the key findings:
On a single night in 2020, roughly 580,000 people were experiencing homelessness in the United States.
- For the fourth consecutive year, homelessness increased nationwide....
The Possibility Report
From Prison to College Degrees in California
The Campaign for College Opportunity
The Sentencing Project, Jan. 22, 2021, by Nazgol Ghandnoosh
Following a nearly 700% increase between 1972 and 2009, the U.S. prison population declined 11% in the subsequent 10 years. At this rate of decline it will take 57 years — until 2078 — to cut the prison population in half
Turning Point & DAAC Present: Justice-Involved Community Survey Report
Criminalizing Victims And Trauma: Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office Ignores Victims Of Crime Until It’s Time To Punish Them.
By Yehudah Pryce
The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office (LADA) provided little support to justice-involved community members who have been victims of crime, according to a new survey of social service recipients at Turning Point (TP), a South Los Angeles non-profit social service provider, and the DA Accountability Coalition (DAAC). The data gathered by TP appear to contradict claims by former Los Angeles District Attorney Jackie Lacey that social services and mental health needs significantly guide the LADA’s prosecution decisions. The survey of 71 participants concluded that many community members who are formerly incarcerated – and have been most in need of social services and mental health care – did not have these service gaps sufficiently considered by the LADA when they were arrested, nor did they receive support from the LADA when they were the victims of crime.
Behavioral Health Crisis Alternatives
Shifting from Police to Community Responses
Vera Institute of Justice, November 2020, by Jackson Beck, Melissa Reuland, Leah Pope
The report addresses the need to reduce the role of police as first responders to people who are experiencing a behavioral health crisis and includes guidance for jurisdictions seeking alternatives that prioritize access to treatment and other essential support services. The authors examine recent efforts across the country – with a focus on Eugene, Oregon; Olympia, Washington; and Phoenix, Arizona – to reduce police involvement in crisis calls that can be better handled by behavioral health specialists. In addition to our three case studies, the report provides an overview of crisis response programs, including a typology of approaches organized by the involvement of law enforcement. It concludes with key considerations to aid practitioners, elected officials, and advocates in their efforts to similarly shift responses from police to alternative responders in their communities.
New BJS data: Prison incarceration rates inch down, but racial equity and real decarceration still decades away
At the current pace of decarceration, it will be 2088 when state prison populations return to pre-mass incarceration levels.
Prison Policy Initiative, by Alexi Jones, October 30, 2020
Last week, the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) released Prisoners in 2019, an annual report that breaks down the number of people incarcerated in state and federal prisons. Along with the report, BJS released a press release that paints a deceptively rosy picture of mass incarceration in the United States, which has been parroted by numerous media outlets.
Trends in U.S. Corrections
August 25, 2020
The Sentencing Project's key fact sheet provides a compilation of major developments in the criminal justice system over the past several decades.
Reforming Pretrial Justice In California
Public Policy Institute, Heather Harris, Magnus Lofstrom, August 2020
California’s pretrial system is poised for reform. In 2018, the governor signed Senate Bill 10 (SB 10) to eliminate money bail and require the use of risk assessment tools when making pretrial release decisions. The law was put onhold after a challenge by the bail industry. Voters will decide its fate in a hotlydebated November 2020 referendum on Proposition 25. Proponents argue SB 10 would reduce jail populations while promoting public safety and court appearances, but critics express concern about the bill’s potential impact on crime and racial inequities.
Visualizing the racial disparities in mass incarceration
Prison Policy Initiative, by Wendy Sawyer, July 27, 2020
Racial inequality is evident in every stage of the criminal justice system - here are the key statistics compiled into a series of charts.
See these staggering charts!
Racial Discrimination Persists in California Jury Selection
Equal Justice Initiative, June 29, 2020
A new study from the Berkeley Law Death Penalty Clinic found that California prosecutors routinely strike Black and Latino prospective jurors—and the state’s appellate courts have failed to meaningfully address racial discrimination in jury selection.
It has been illegal for more than a century to remove a person from a jury because of their race, but people of color continue to be excluded from jury service because of their race, especially in serious criminal trials and death penalty cases.
Failing Grades: States’ Responses to COVID-19 in Jails & Prisons
Prison Policy Initiative and the ACLU, June 25, 2020
By Emily Widra and Dylan Hayre
The results are clear: despite all of the information, voices calling for action, and the obvious need, state responses ranged from disorganized or ineffective, at best, to callously nonexistent at worst. Even using data from criminal justice system agencies — that is, even using states’ own versions of this story — it is clear that no state has done enough and that all states failed to implement a cohesive, system-wide response.
Care First, Jails Last
Health and Racial Justice Strategies for Safer Communities
Los Angeles County Alternatives to Incarceration Work Group Final Report
Mortality in Local Jails, 2000-2016
LA County is able to safely divert thousands of individuals with mental illness into treatment
January 7, 2020 by Stephanie Brooks Holliday
Pretrial Risk Assessment in California
One Year After the First Step Act: Mixed Outcomes
Costs Of Injustice: How Criminal System Fees Are Hurting Los Angeles County Families
Arrest, Release, Repeat:
How police and jails are misused to respond to social problems
In L.A., Nine in Ten Incarcerated Youth Have a Documented Mental Health Issue
The Chronicle of Social Change, June 12, Jeremy Loudenback
Cannabis Social Equity Report
Repairing the Harms, Creating the Future
New Fact Sheet: Urban Crime Declines During California's Justice Reform Era (2010-2018)
California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation
Several Poor Administrative Practices Have Hindered Reductions in Recidivism and Denied Inmates Access to In‑Prison Rehabilitation Programs
Failure should not be an option: Grading the parole release systems of all 50 states
Jorge Renaud, Feb, 26, 2019
Juvenile Arrest Rates on Steady Decline
This US Department of Justice bulletin describes the latest trends in arrests involving juveniles (youth younger than age 18) covering the period from 1980 to 2016, based on analyses of data from the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Uniform Crime Reporting Program. Overall, juvenile arrests have been on the decline for more than a decade, but patterns vary by offense and demographic group.
SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT BUDGET STATUS REPORT
November 21, 2018
Semi-annually with an overview of the financial status of the Department.
"[DRAFT] Report of the Sheriff Civilian Oversight Commission Immigration Ad Hoc Committee
Prison Policy Initiative Report
By Lucius Couloute
Using data from the National Former Prisoner Survey, this report reveals that formerly incarcerated people are often relegated to the lowest rungs of the educational ladder; more than half hold only a high school diploma or GED, and a quarter hold no credential at all.
As part of a collaborative effort to improve the nation's community corrections system, The Pew Charitable Trusts and the Laura and John Arnold Foundation analyzed the leading research and identified the most pressing problems and some promising solutions. The available data leave many questions unanswered, but this review reveals key insights and challenges many assumptions about supervision
REPORT - Getting to Zero: A 50 State Study of Strategies to Remove Youth from Adult Jails
The report by The Jail Removal Project at UCLA School of Law, aims to reassess the way youth are incarcerated in America by providing the first-ever analysis of three nationwide data sets: Census of Jails and Annual Survey of Jails, both conducted by the Bureau of Justice Statistics, and the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention's Census of Juvenile Residential Placements.
The report also summarizes the major legal developments applicable to youth housed in adult jails and provides specific examples from jurisdictions across the country that have made substantial progress toward removing youth from adult jails.
You Get What You Measure: New Performance Indicators Needed to Gauge Progress of Criminal Justice Reform
Prop 47 not responsible for recent upticks in crime across California
The implementation of Proposition 47 - which reduced the prison population by charging certain drug and property offenses as misdemeanors rather than felonies - is not responsible for the recent upticks in crime throughout California, according to a new study from researchers at the University of California, Irvine. This is the first systematic analysis to be conducted of the measure's statewide impact since its 2014 implementation.
Despite the ongoing decline in incarceration, spending on state corrections remains high.
Under the Governor's proposed budget, combined funding for the CDCR and the Board of State and Community Corrections would be $12.1 billion in 2018-19 (the fiscal year that begins this coming July 1) - $2 billion higher than the 2012-13 level, after adjusting for inflation.
Public Safety Realignment
Weak State and County Oversight Does Not Ensure That Funds Are Spent Effectively California State Auditor Report, March 2021
Among the effects that these counties have experienced since 2011, when the Legislature transferred fromthe State to counties the responsibility for incarcerating and supervising certain offenders, are the following:
- Fresno and Los Angeles have experienced increased jail overcrowding, and neither county has met the State’s jail capacity standards by reducing its jail population or taking other mitigating actions.
- Alameda and Fresno do not share sufficient information about inmates’ mental health with jail staff, who are responsible for deciding about inmates’ housing and safety.
- The counties’ jails often lack adequate outdoor and educational facilities to provide certain vocational and rehabilitative programs for inmates who serve terms longer than three years.
To support the counties’ realignment responsibilities and offset the costs of providing required public safety services, the State allocated $6 billion to California’s counties in fiscal year 2019–20. However, because the three counties we reviewed have narrowly interpreted the scope of public safety realignment funding, their Community Corrections Partnership committees—responsible for monitoring such spending—have overseen less than 20 percent of the funding the counties receive. Each county also maintains excessive realignment surpluses, which they could spend to improve public safety. Finally, the counties lack comprehensive planning and oversight for realignment spending, without which they cannot make informed decisions.
Youth Justice Reimagined Report recommendations
Interrupting the Cycle of Incarceration for Individuals with Mental Illness-
An Analysis of LA County’s Rapid Diversion Program
Report by By Jess Bendit, Joshua Segui, Courtney B. Taylor & Rachel Vogt
New Publication – Improving Outcomes for Individuals with Sex Offenses
Friensds Outside, Los Angeles County, by Dr. Luis Barrera Castañón, Dr. Marco Murillo (Researchers) May 11, 2021
Jail incarceration rates vary widely, but inexplicably, across U.S. cities
Cities jail people at rates that have little to no correlation to their violent crime rates, police budgets, or jail budgets.
Prison Policy Initiative, by Tiana Herring, May 4, 2021
Why do some places incarcerate people at much higher rates than others? We considered this question in 2019, when we compared prison incarceration rates across U.S. counties, finding a wide range that loosely correlated to the respective state imprisonment rates. Now, we can do the same for jail incarceration rates.
Roadmap To The Ideal Crisis System
National Council for Behavioral Health
Essential Elements, Measurable Standards and Best Practices for Behavioral Health Crisis Response
No End In Sight: America’s Enduring Reliance on Life Imprisonment
Juvenile Life Without Parole: An Overview
The Sentencing Project, Feb 18, 2021, by Josh Rovner
The United States stands alone as the only nation that sentences people to life without parole for crimes committed before turning 18. This briefing paper reviews the Supreme Court precedents that limited the use of JLWOP and the challenges that remain.
Top Trends in State Criminal Justice Reform, 2020
The Sentencing Project, Jan. 15, 2021, by Nicole D. Porter
In recent years most states have enacted reforms designed to reduce the scale of incarceration and the impact of the collateral consequences of a felony conviction. This briefing paper describes key reforms that were prioritized in 2020.
Health Departments Taking Action on Incarceration: A Framework for Advancing Health Instead of Punishment During COVID-19
Human Impact Partners, January 2021
This resource includes 8 recommendations and specific actions health departments can take to address the harms of incarceration.
Social Innovation Impact Report 2019-2020
Office of Governor Gavin Newsom
The returning home well initiative which was largely supported by LA providers is on page 14
Experts from around the nation in issuing a new white paper advising the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and state governments to prioritize incarcerated individual and correctional staff in the distribution of the COVID-19 vaccines.
Specifically, the report recommends:
- Prioritize vaccine distribution to all incarcerated individuals at the same stage as correctional officers (essential workers/first responders) or higher
- Create vaccine distribution and implementation plans developed by medical and public health professionals that are specific to correctional systems
- Include correctional leadership and justice-involved individuals in state advisory vaccine groups and committees
- Identify policies and methods to effectively fund vaccine distribution and administration in correctional systems and following release
new DA Report by the ACLU and DAAC
George Gascón was sworn in to lead the country’s largest district attorney’s office. See the new DA Report by the ACLU and DAAC for recommendations — based on data from public records requests — to increase equity, transparency and accountability in the Los Angeles DA's office
Incarcerated Women and Girls
The Sentencing Project, November 24, 2020
Youth Justice Under the Coronavirus:
Linking Public Health Protections with the Movement for Youth Decarceration
The Sentencing Project September 30, 2020, by Josh Rovner
Despite almost two decades of declines in U.S. youth incarceration, The Sentencing Project reveals more than 1,800 incarcerated youth have tested positive for COVID-19 since March, including more than 300 cases in Florida and Texas.
As States Gear Up For Vote By Mail, New Report on First-Time & Limited-English Speaking Voters Makes Key Recommendations for California
August 4, 2020
Report from California Common Cause and Center for Social Innovation at UC Riverside features voices and concerns of low-propensity voters
Proposition 47’s Impact on Racial Disparity in Criminal Justice Outcomes
Public Policy Institute of California, June 2020
Magnus Lofstrom, Brandon Martin, Steven Raphael
...In recent years, California has implemented a number of significant reforms that were not motivated by racial disparities but might have narrowed them in a number of ways. In this report, we extend our previous arrest work to examine the impact of Proposition 47, which reclassified a number of drug and property offenses from felonies to misdemeanors, on racial disparities in arrest and jail booking rates and in the likelihood of an arrest resulting in a booking.
While significant inequities persist in California and elsewhere, our findings point to a reduction in pretrial detention and a narrowing of racial disparities in key statewide criminal justice outcomes
REPORT - Voting in Jails
The Sentencing Project, MAY 07, 2020
Nicole D. Porter
As localities consider voting best practices, a new report from The Sentencing Project highlights jurisdictions around the country that actively support ballot access for residents detained in local jails through absentee voting or jail-based polling sites. These initiatives should serve as models to be adopted by all jail systems in order to ensure that individuals housed there do not forfeit their rights of citizenship.
Liberating Our Health:
Ending the Harms of Pretrial Incarceration and Money Bail
Jail Visitation Innovation
Youth Confinement: The Whole Pie 2019
An Overview of Evidence-Based Practices and Programs in Prison Reentry
The Steep Costs of Criminal Justice Fees and Fines
November 21, 2019, Matthew Menendez, Michael Crowley, Lauren-Brooke Eisen, Noah Atchison
Women’s Mass Incarceration:
The Whole Pie 2019
Private Prisons in the United States
The 1994 Crime Bill, Legacy and Lessons
What America's Users Spend on Illegal Drugs, 2006–2016
- How many people are using cocaine (including crack), heroin, marijuana, and methamphetamine in the United States?
- How much are they using?
- How much money are they spending?
- How have these quantities changed over time?
U.S. Commission on Civil Rights Calls for Limiting Collateral Consequences for People With Criminal Records
LOS ANGELES COUNTY Alternatives to Incarceration Work Group
Bookings into the L.A. County Jail
U.S. Commission on Civil Rights Calls for Limiting Collateral Consequences for People With Criminal Records
New report underscores link between ‘shocking’ number of evictions, homelessness
Evaluation of North Carolina's Pathways from Prison to Postsecondary Education Program
by Lois M. Davis, Michelle C. Tolbert
Discretionary Detention by the Numbers
New Fact Sheet: Urban Crime Declines During California's Justice Reform Era (2010-2018)
Where ‘Returning Citizens’ Find Housing After Prison
Starr and Prescott publish groundbreaking empirical study of expungement
Mass Incarceration: The Whole Pie 2019
Attorney General Becerra Releases 2017 California Criminal Justice Data Reports
- Crime in California
- Hate Crime in California
- Homicide in California
- Juvenile Justice in California
- URSUS: Use of Force Incident Reporting
A Groundbreaking Report Goes Deep On Black Homelessness In Los Angeles
New Report: Pervasive Violence and Isolation at California's Division of Juvenile Justice Endanger Youth
Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice
Maureen Washburn & Renee Menart
Feb. 19, 2019
Unlocking the Black Box of Prosecution
Vera Institute of Justice
In order to help unlock this black box, the Vera Institute of Justice created this guide: a tool for interested community members and prosecutors to better understand what prosecutors can do to advance equal justice. Read More
"[DRAFT] The LA County Blue Ribbon Commission on Public Safety finalized its report given to the Board of Supervisors Nov. 15
Regarding the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s DepartmentCooperation with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and [PROPOSED] Recommendations
Web Report by the Vera Institute
The harsh conditions within prison have been demonstrated neither to ensure safety behind the walls nor to prevent crime and victimization in the community.
"This document—unlike anything we have ever produced at the Vera Institute of Justice (Vera)—is about the possibility of radical change. It asserts a dramatic reconsideration of the most severe criminal sanction we have: incarceration. It articulates a view that is sure to be alien to many. Yet we need not accept as a given the way we do things now, and we encourage you to envision a different path."
REPORT - Decarceration Stratgies: How 5 states achieved substantial prison population reductions
This report by The Sentencing Project, seeks to inform stakeholders in other states of the range of policy options available to them forsignificantly reducing their prison population. While weprovide some assessment of the political environment which contributed to these changes, we do not go into great detail in this area since stakeholders will need to make their own determinations of strategy based on the particularities of their state.
THE PRICE OF FREEDOM: BAIL IN THE CITY OF LOS ANGELES A MILLION DOLLAR HOODS REPORT
Isaac Bryan, Terry Allen MA, Kelly Lytle Hernández PhD, and the Million Dollar Hoods Team
Special Report: 2018 Update on Prisoner Recidivism:
A 9-Year Follow-Up Period (2005-2014)
Mariel Alper, Ph.D., and Matthew R. Durose, BJS Statisticians Joshua Markman, former BJS Statistician
is a new report from the Trone Center for Justice & Equality. The report details the ways companies can combat the ills of decades of mass incarceration, while at the same tapping into the potential energy of a workforce of millions.
Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice
January 10, 2017 By the Drug Policy Alliance and Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice
For decades, the criminal justice system has incentivized arrests, convictions, incarceration, and other criminal consequences for drug use. However, the American public increasingly believes problematic substance use is a public health problem, not a criminal one. In California, drug policy reforms implemented over recent years reflect these changing perceptions.
Peter Espinoza, Director of Office Diversion & Re-Entry gave an overview of the various current and upcoming projects by Office of Diversion and Reentry at the last LARRP General meeting. Click below to download a powerpoint of his presentation.
The Southern Poverty Law Center
November 21, 2016 by Southern Poverty Law Center, National Immigrant Project of the National Lawyers Guild, and Adelante Alabama Worker Center
This report is the result of a seven-month investigation of six detention centers in the South, a region where tens of thousands of people are locked up for months, sometimes even years, as they await hearings or deportation.