Housing Key Issue for Released Prisoners

Associated Press

SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) – Stable housing is critical to the success of low-level felons being released under California Gov. Jerry Brown’s prison reform law.

Yet county probation officials who are now responsible for tracking these former inmates say homelessness remains a problem for the parolees and could undermine the law’s success.

County officials say the number of homeless offenders hasn’t changed significantly since the passage of the so-called realignment law.

But now, it’s the responsibility of counties to find them housing – not state parole – and the burden in some cases is heavy.

Counties across the state are dealing with the problem in different ways. Many are trying a patchwork of solutions as they adapt.

Some counties report that as many as 1 in 5 low-level prison parolees are reporting as homeless.