The Alameda County plan emphasizes the strategic use of resources and programming to provide targeted services to the larger jail population based on an individualized assessment of risks and needs. Local authorities emphasized that the county has the right combination of supervision, services, support and opportunities in this plan to make it successful.
To ensure that success, the county's CCP executive committee includes top-ranked law enforcement, legal and public support individuals. They are Alameda County's Chief Probation Officer David Muhammad as the chairman, Sheriff Greg Ahern, District Attorney Nancy O'Malley, Public Defender Diane Bellas, Presiding Judge Jon Rolefson, Alameda Police Chief Michael Noonan and Health Care Services Director Alex Briscoe.
This plan reflects strong collaboration within the partnership and includes several innovative features that will protect public safety and mitigate the impacts of realignment on our community. These include a coordinated, inter-agency focus on employment and the establishment of a Transition Center at the Santa Rita Jail, which will be co-staffed by the county's Probation Department and its Health Care and Social Services agencies. Those will serve as a critical bridge between the custody and community settings.
Sheriff Ahern said his office is looking forward to working in collaboration with county agencies and community-based organizations to ensure the success of this plan. He believes the new realignment will offer a wide variety of services to those entrusted to the county's care and affords us the opportunity to expand on existing programs to help these troubled individuals.
In addition to managing a new criminal justice population, Alameda County has the extra challenge of doing so with far fewer resources than most other similar-sized counties. The state's funding allocation formula for realignment puts the county at a disadvantage due to its successful history of keeping most lower-level offenders at the local level, which this new legislation now seeks to do statewide. An example is that though Alameda and San Bernardino counties have nearly the same crime rate, Alameda County will receive $16 million less than San Bernardino in the first year of realignment funding, due to the formula's heavy emphasis on pre-realignment state prison remittance rates.
To its credit, the county board and its Community Corrections Partnership have designed a tremendous implementation plan, even though they are receiving an unfairly low allocation from the state. Legislators and the governor need to re-examine the funding formula and possibly increase Alameda County's allocation amount to ensure the residents here that they are receiving the services and public safety protections needed to make the realignment program a success.
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