Santa Clara County To Help Pay Freed Third-Strikers' Rent For A Year
Stanford Law Professor Joan Petersilia comments on the decision to provide monetary aid to prisoners recently released from life sentences after the passage of Proposition 36 in The San Jose Mercury News.
Recently freed "third-strikers" soon will be able to get $1,000 a month to help pay their rent for a year from Santa Clara County, the only jurisdiction in California to offer such assistance.
The idea is to help the former lifers sentenced under the state's Three Strikes Law get back on their feet after spending a decade or longer in prison.
But the proposition, sponsored by the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and Stanford Law School's Three Strikes Project, didn't provide any post-release services for the freed lifers.
"Research has always shown that housing is the linchpin for re-entry success," said Joan Petersilia, a Stanford law school professor and expert on criminal justice. "Without housing ... sobriety and employment don't happen. This is a critically important project, and Santa Clara deserves a lot of credit for undertaking it."