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More Rehab Services For Former Three Strikes Inmates

Publication Date: 
February 02, 2014
Source: 
San Jose Mercury News
Author: 
Tracey Kaplan

Michael Romano, director of Stanford Law's Three Strikes Project, comments on the allocation of services to help recently released inmates for San Jose Mercury News.

It should have been a no-brainer. Dozens of beds in rehabilitation centers sat empty because the state overestimated the number of parolees who would need them. Meanwhile, inmates freed early after voters eased the state’s tough Three Strikes Law needed those beds for housing and treatment programs. Since the state had already paid for the beds, it made sense to allow those freed inmates to use them, even though they aren’t on parole.

That has finally happened -- after prison officials, Stanford’s Three Strikes Project, the leader of the state Senate and the chief justice of California’s highest court succeeded in cutting through a lot of red tape.

...

Michael Romano, director of the Three Strikes Project, praised the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, calling the reallocation a “massive step in the right direction.” Advocates are hoping more beds will become available next fiscal year.

”They did the right thing here by opening parole support services to people who desperately need help,” Romano said. “This doesn’t solve the problem ... (but) these services will help nonviolent former prisoners who have nowhere else to turn ease their reintegration to the community -- and will also help the state reduce recidivism and keep prison space reserved for truly dangerous criminals.”