In a bid to help more formerly incarcerated people get jobs, the California Community College Chancellor’s Office is urging the state’s 115 community colleges to wait until they’re ready to make a job offer before asking applicants about any criminal history.
Franklin County Municipal Court judges say most misdemeanor crime cases they see can be tied to the opioid epidemic. Those judges, the City Attorney, and probation officers all hope the treatment clinic can help.
Most people are aware of mass incarceration, but few have heard of mass supervision. Yet behind the scenes, community supervision after prison—generally known as parole—has become one of biggest drivers of jail and prison populations in New York State. The statistics are dismal.
Republican State Senator Jeff Brandes of St. Petersburg recently filed Senate Bill 642, the “Florida First Step Act,” which would allow judges to depart from mandatory minimums for drug trafficking charges. It also calls for allowing inmates to earn more time off of their sentences if they earn a diploma or participate in an entrepreneurship program.
Formerly incarcerated people could have more success securing employment under bipartisan legislation that would bar federal employers from asking for applicants’ criminal histories before conditional job offers. Reps. Elijah Cummings (D-Baltimore) and Doug Collins (R-Georgia) joined with Sens. Cory Booker (D-New Jersey) and Ron Johnson (R-Wisconsin) to propose the Fair Chance Act, an attempt to decrease rates of recidivism by helping people secure jobs.
In Greenfield, about 75 percent of the officers have been trained on the Crisis Intervention Team, which is a model backed by the National Alliance on Mental Illness and intended to help police work better with the community they serve, particularly those with mental health or addiction challenges.
The curriculum—which typically trains four to 11 dogs at a time—takes about two to three months to complete and is internationally recognized through the Association of Professional Dog Trainers, giving inmates professional experience for their resume.
Ashley Adams, the nursing director for Pennsylvania’s Butler County jail, hopes that ultimately people with serious mental health problems have some place other to go other than jails, noting that she is part of a countywide committee involved in “Stepping Up,” a national organization devoted to reducing the number of mentally ill people being put in jail.
The grant continues established partnerships among the Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s Office, Lafayette Police Department, Acadiana Area Human Services District, Beacon Community Connections Inc., and 232-HELP.
A treatment alternative court program allows a misdemeanor defendant who pleads guilty to be transferred to the program for counseling and other support services, rather than punished.