Preliminary Provisions - California Penal Code Section 17.5

17.5.  (a) The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
   (1) The Legislature reaffirms its commitment to reducing
recidivism among criminal offenders.
   (2) Despite the dramatic increase in corrections spending over the
past two decades, national reincarceration rates for people released
from prison remain unchanged or have worsened. National data show
that about 40 percent of released individuals are reincarcerated
within three years. In California, the recidivism rate for persons
who have served time in prison is even greater than the national
   (3) Criminal justice policies that rely on building and operating
more prisons to address community safety concerns are not
sustainable, and will not result in improved public safety.
   (4) California must reinvest its criminal justice resources to
support community-based corrections programs and evidence-based
practices that will achieve improved public safety returns on this
state's substantial investment in its criminal justice system.
   (5) Realigning low-level felony offenders who do not have prior
convictions for serious, violent, or sex offenses to locally run
community-based corrections programs, which are strengthened through
community-based punishment, evidence-based practices, improved
supervision strategies, and enhanced secured capacity, will improve
public safety outcomes among adult felons and facilitate their
reintegration back into society.
   (6) Community-based corrections programs require a partnership
between local public safety entities and the county to provide and
expand the use of community-based punishment for low-level offender
populations. Each county's Local Community Corrections Partnership,
as established in paragraph (2) of subdivision (b) of Section 1230,
should play a critical role in developing programs and ensuring
appropriate outcomes for low-level offenders.
   (7) Fiscal policy and correctional practices should align to
promote a justice reinvestment strategy that fits each county.
"Justice reinvestment" is a data-driven approach to reduce
corrections and related criminal justice spending and reinvest
savings in strategies designed to increase public safety. The purpose
of justice reinvestment is to manage and allocate criminal justice
populations more cost-effectively, generating savings that can be
reinvested in evidence-based strategies that increase public safety
while holding offenders accountable.
   (8) "Community-based punishment" means correctional sanctions and
programming encompassing a range of custodial and noncustodial
responses to criminal or noncompliant offender activity.
Community-based punishment may be provided by local public safety
entities directly or through community-based public or private
correctional service providers, and include, but are not limited to,
the following:
   (A) Short-term flash incarceration in jail for a period of not
more than 10 days.
   (B) Intensive community supervision.
   (C) Home detention with electronic monitoring or GPS monitoring.
   (D) Mandatory community service.
   (E) Restorative justice programs such as mandatory victim
restitution and victim-offender reconciliation.
   (F) Work, training, or education in a furlough program pursuant to
Section 1208.
   (G) Work, in lieu of confinement, in a work release program
pursuant to Section 4024.2.
   (H) Day reporting.
   (I) Mandatory residential or nonresidential substance abuse
treatment programs.
   (J) Mandatory random drug testing.
   (K) Mother-infant care programs.
   (L) Community-based residential programs offering structure,
supervision, drug treatment, alcohol treatment, literacy programming,
employment counseling, psychological counseling, mental health
treatment, or any combination of these and other interventions.
   (9) "Evidence-based practices" refers to supervision policies,
procedures, programs, and practices demonstrated by scientific
research to reduce recidivism among individuals under probation,
parole, or post release supervision.
   (b) The provisions of this act are not intended to alleviate state
prison overcrowding.

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Last modified: February 16, 2015