Comprehensive Blueprint for Youth Reentry in Alameda County
Public safety, violence prevention, reentry from incarceration; juvenile and adult criminal justice reform-all remain critical issues for low income communities of color and communities across the county. Oakland and Alameda County have tremendous opportunities to "get it right" and to use the policy and programmatic tools to make a real difference in creating safe, healthy and vibrant communities we all want and need. Recently, the Council worked with partners to create the Alameda County Coalition for Criminal Justice Reform with an immediate focus on AB109 Criminal Justice Realignment, but a longer term focus on reforming the ways we think about and address issues of public safety in our communities. As a companion to the Coalition work, we have launched a blog, the Alameda County Criminal Justice Reform Blog (http://www.accjr.com) as a vehicle for sharing information and ideas about criminal justice reform in the county. Please take the opportunity to visit the blog by adding your voice through comments or as a guest blogger (named or anonymous).
The YRPP represents a significant step forward in current countywide efforts to develop a more responsive and effective juvenile justice system in Alameda County. These efforts include:
The Youth Reentry Planning Process (YRPP) was a collaborative effort between the Alameda County Health Care Services Agency (HCSA), The alameda County probation Department, the Associated Community Action Program (ACAP), and several community agencies and stakeholders in 2009-2010. The work was undertaken pursuant to a grant agreement with the Department of Labor under the terms of the Employment and Training Administration Youth Offender Planning Grant received by Alameda County in 2009.
- The redesign and development of the new Juvenile Justice Center (JJC);
- The establishment of the Transition Center at the JJC to work closely with youth prior to and during their release back into the community;
- The future renovation and restructuring of Camp Sweeney, the juvenile justice camp system in Alameda County;
- The creation of rehabilitative pathways for youth on community probation;
- The facilitation of the transfer of youth from the Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) within the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) back to the local county facilities; and
- The establishment of the Alameda County Youth Reentry Support System.
The YRPP has resulted in the production of a detailed Blueprint that requires strategic partnerships be created to facilitate the ongoing collaborative work at the Juvenile Justice Center (JJC), the Transition Center, Camp Sweeney, CDCR DJJ and the Alameda County Probation Department. These partnerships will work together as the Reentry Support System to enable reentering youth and youth on probation to make a successful transition back into the community. For young adults aged 18-24, the Reentry Support System will increase access to employment and training services; for youth aged 14-18, the system will provide alternatives that help reengage youth in public school or appropriate school alternatives. For all reentering and probationary youth, the Reentry Support System will provide comprehensive case management encompassing issues concerned with health, mental health, recovery, income maintenance, housing, and family reunification.
This Blueprint will guide the development of a Youth Reentry System to ensure that all youth who come into contact with the juvenile justice system have the tools and support they need to become productive citizens and successful members of their community.
The mission of the new Alameda County Youth Reentry Support System is to "facilitate collaboration between a diverse array of youth advocates and community stakeholders, to develop, test, and implement a comprehensive network of reentry services that effectively help youth coming out of the juvenile justice system successfully reintegrate into the community." The YRPP Blueprint provides a clear framework embodied in three key outcomes that, taken together, advance this mission.