SB New State Grant Money Brings IE Services
Dianne Anderson // —
Millions in new money flowing down from the state to 23 cities and counties are set to bring more Prop. 47 rehabilitation and mental health services to the Inland Empire.
Starting June 16, the Board of State and Community Corrections $103 million statewide funding award will carry 23 lead applicant government agencies until August 2020.
Passed by voters in 2014, Prop. 47 initiative saves the state money by not filling up prisons and jails with low-level nonviolent offenses. The state’s savings from reducing six nonviolent felonies to misdemeanors now goes to support rehabilitation and prevention services.
The state BSCC expects to call the next round applications for funding in 2019.
The Prop 47 ballot initiative requires 65 percent of the state savings to go to BSCC, and redistributed to city and county agencies, which then work with community-based organizations to provide services in substance abuse, mental health treatment, housing and job training.
Across the state, agencies were invited to apply for up to $6 million in awards, except for the County of Los Angeles, which was allowed to vie for $20 million. Riverside and San Bernardino counties both applied for $6 million, but San Bernardino only received a partial award.
San Bernardino County’s Information Officer, David Wert, said that the county was awarded $1.2 million of the $6 million requested. Because it is a partial award, he said they will need to renegotiate updated terms with BSCC regarding the overall budget, and programs for funding, and to what extent, and where, they will develop local programming.
“Once we get that hammered out, we’ll develop a competitive procurement process to determine who will receive funding for what,” Wert said in an email.
The county received the partial award due to the state set minimum scoring requirements, he said, noting that many agencies didn’t meet the requirements, and received nothing.
Of all the agencies that met the minimum scoring requirements, he said San Bernardino County ranked the lowest.
“Consequently, we received a partial award which represented the remaining funds after all the other agencies that had also met the scoring requirements yet scored higher received full funding,” he said.
Prop 47 is also important to help with relief in getting six nonviolent felonies reduced to misdemeanors. The cutoff date for the expungement clinics has been extended by Gov. Brown until 2022.
Deliana Speights, secretary treasurer with United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1428, said their upcoming Prop. 47 clinic filled quickly soon after calls for RSVP. They can no longer accept participants.
It is the Local’s first time hosting this kind of event, and she said there seems to be a high demand for service.
“There is a need,” she said. “It [the deadline] has been extended, but that’s the concern with a lot of people on getting it done.”
The four-hour process with LiveScan records request is intensive, but free of charge, and participants will meet one on one with attorneys.
“We can only fit 15 people per hour, and we already have 15 for [each of] all four hours,” she said. “It filled up in the last week, I think it’s just a matter of getting the word out.”
Their co-sponsors, Sen. Connie Leyva’s Office and Californians for Safety and Justice, have strongly publicized the event.
“If we decide to do it again, we need more than a four-hour event,” she said.
Of the 23 applicants that received BSCC funding, the Rialto Juvenile TEAM Program received an award for $996,975 for wraparound services for Training, Education, Alcohol/Drug and Mental Health Treatment (T.E.A.M.) for Rialto, Colton, and San Bernardino qualifying youth age 14 to 17.
Riverside University Health System-Behavioral Health Integrated Care, Behavioral Health Full Service Partnership Program also received $6 million funding to provide wraparound programs covering mental health, substance use and primary care services. Diversion services for Veteran and Homeless court defendants, and restorative justice services are also included. Participants will be served in Coachella Valley, Perris/Moreno Valley, covering Western/Mid County residents.
Will Matthews, spokesperson for California for Safety and Justice, said that to date, close to 300,000 felony convictions have been reduced in California under Prop 47.
He said that millions of Californians have been pushed to fringe because of a past mistake, and they deserve second chances, which is why voters passed the initiative.
“Just because they have one felony conviction on their criminal record should not mean they don’t have access to things like jobs or housing or financial aid to go back to college,” Matthews said.
Last year, the organization also lobbied for AB2765, authored by Assemblymember Shirley Weber (D-San Diego), to extend the deadline to apply for relief from Prop 47 to November 2022.
“When we permanently banish people to the margins of society, they don’t have the same opportunity to become stable contributing members of society. That jeopardizes all of our public safety,” he said.
For more information, see http://www.safeandjust.org/