Board of Supervisors Adopts Realignment Plan To Enhance Public Safety

County of Santa Barbara Seal (Edhat)

$23.2 Million Allocated to Treatment, Diversion, and Corrections

The Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors adopted the 2024-2026 Public Safety Realignment Plan, allocating $23.2 million of ongoing and one-time funds towards public safety, treatment, and criminal justice diversion efforts.

Realignment planning in Santa Barbara County is overseen by the Community Corrections Partnership (CCP), a collaborative, inter-agency partnership of representatives from public safety and behavioral health agencies.

The Public Safety Realignment Act (AB 109) was implemented beginning in 2011 as a means of addressing overcrowding in California’s State prison system, transferring certain inmates and parolees from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation to Counties.

“This plan balances the need for jail population management, community supervision, diversion efforts, and treatment programs. It makes important investments in innovative programs that we hope will reduce recidivism, and increase diversion from the criminal justice system” said Supervisor Das Williams, the Board of Supervisors representative to the Community Corrections Partnership.

“The programs and services in our Plan reinforce the strong collaborations and partnerships our County has built across our justice system. Ultimately the CCP’s intent is to create a balanced approach to public safety through appropriate treatment, supports, and accountability for justice-involved individuals with complex needs and challenges,” said Chief Probation Officer Holly Benton, Chair of the CCP.

The plan includes $2.7 million for mental health treatment beds for justice-involved individuals at the Champion Healing Center. Those eligible for placement will be behavioral health clients who are currently in the Jail and are eligible for conservatorship. The goal of this pilot program is to reduce the number of seriously mentally ill inmates in the County jail.

Additional funding was allocated for a Diversion Director in the District Attorney’s Office, which will monitor and implement diversion programs in the DA’s office, including the Neighborhood Restorative Justice Program, a program designed to divert low-level misdemeanor offenses from entering the criminal justice system.

$1.2 million was allocated to the innovative Re-entry, Early Access, and Diversion for You (READY) program, weaving together resources from the Public Defender, Probation Department, Good Samaritan Shelter, and other local community-based organizations to assist clients with representation earliest stage of a criminal case, and resources with the goal of reducing recidivism.

The full list of programs and services can be found in the 2024-2026 Public Safety Realignment Plan.

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