A Courtroom Unlike Any Other - Santa Clara County’s Parolee Reentry Court is a Case Study in Reducing Prison Recidivism, SOOO, 2011
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‘A Courtroom Unlike Any Other’ Santa Clara County’s Parolee Reentry Court is a Case Study in Reducing Prison Recidivism A report prepared for the California Senate Rules Committee june 1, 2011 Prepared by Dorothy Korber California Senate Office of Oversight and Outcomes John Adkisson John Hill Dorothy Korber Nancy Vogel 1496-S ‘A Courtroom Unlike Any Other’ Santa Clara County’s Parolee Reentry Court is a Case Study in Reducing Prison Recidivism june 1, 2011 Prepared by Dorothy Korber California Senate Office of Oversight and Outcomes California Senate Office of Oversight and Outcomes June 1, 2011 Introduction The judge ran through his afternoon calendar at a sprinter’s pace. More than 50 cases cycled through the court in three hours – all of them parolees with a violation. Dirty drug tests. Missed appointments. New crimes. Such lapses normally would have sent them straight back to state prison. But today, instead of a prison cell, they are in Judge Stephen Manley’s crowded, bustling San Jose courtroom. This is Santa Clara County’s Parolee Reentry Court, where high-risk offenders get a second chance at redemption. If it works, everybody wins: the parolee rebuilds his life, his community is safer, and taxpayers save the thousands of dollars it would cost to return him to prison. If it fails, he is one more statistic in California’s dismal recidivism rate. California has the worst record in the nation for re-incarcerating parolees, with nearly 70 percent returning to prison within three years of release. “California epitomizes revolving door justice in the United States,” according to criminology professor Joan Petersilia. To address this problem, in 2009 the Legislature passed Senate Bill x3 18, which created a pilot program testing whether a drug-court model can reduce recidivism. Santa Clara is one of six counties participating in the pilot. The aim of these Parolee Reentry Courts is to stop the swinging prison door. So far, it’s working. Now Judge Manley wants to bring the program to every county in the state as part of Governor Jerry Brown’s plan to restructure public safety in California. The governor aims to shift responsibility for parole violations to local jurisdictions, with courts making parole revocation decisions. In fact, the policy of turning parole violators over to judges is already in statute under Assembly Bill 109, a budget bill Brown signed into law on April 4, 2011. Manley says the mechanism to achieve Brown’s goal is the Parolee Reentry Court. The judge suggests taking the collaborative drug courts that operate in 56 California counties and turning them into parolee courts. The state Board of Parole Hearings would be deeply downsized and most of its $200 million budget diverted to these Reentry Courts. Other millions saved by stopping the revolving door would be plowed back into local treatment programs and job training. The savings could be immense. In 2009, 27,000 parole violators were returned to state prison and then re-paroled after serving three months or less. Collectively those 27,000 re-incarcerated parolees cost taxpayers about $1.69 million for each day they were back in prison. 1 California Senate Office of Oversight and Outcomes June 1, 2011 The court As Manley’s court calendar for March 21 progressed, a parolee with a cane took a seat at the defendants’ table. The judge looked up from a thick file and said, “Robert, Robert, Robert: Are you working on honesty? I understand you tried to put one past Miss Pastor, your parole agent.” Robert hung his head and the judge continued: “We’ve got to stop these negative drug tests. You need to be honest, to do something about the problem. Here’s the key: Tell the truth. And stay away from people who use cocaine. Are you clean now? We’ll find out, so tell me truthfully.” “I’m clean.” The judge led a round of applause and instructed the parolee to enter a specific substance abuse treatment program, to be honest about his drug tests, to tell his agent if he is “dirty” so the level of treatment could be adjusted, to attend meetings regularly and to bring proof of attendance when he returned to court April 18. Others trooped through. Manley dealt with a forged light-rail ticket, a new dui, a homeless parolee whose agent can’t find him because he lives outdoors. A few were remanded to county jail for a “time out” or a chance to dry out. At the end of the day, arrest warrants were issued for the handful of parolees who failed to show up. But most were encouraged, applauded and told to return to court in four weeks. Some spoke candidly of their emotional problems. “Roger, you’ve been feeling depressed?” Manley asked a middle-aged parolee. “Yes, sir. And stressed.” “You’ve had a relapse?” “Hey, Judge – you’re well-informed! Yes, sir. Life became overwhelming. Paying bills… I’m spread too thin.” The judge, a grandfatherly figure with silver hair and a black eye patch, gave him a pep talk. “Showing up for life can be overwhelming. You are not in prison, where everybody runs your life for you. Maybe we can help you through this.” The judge’s philosophy is echoed in the words of poet W. E. Henley, posted on the courtroom wall: 2 California Senate Office of Oversight and Outcomes June 1, 2011 It matters not how strait the gate, How charged with punishments the scroll. I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul. Earlier, at the start of the March 21 session, Manley addressed the newcomers to Parolee Reentry Court. “This courtroom is unlike any other,” he said. “Every one of you knows the reason you were sent here was an alternative to being sent back to prison. This program is about your life – about you. It may take a long time, but this is not about how quick you accomplish something. I want you to do well. I don’t know if any one else does. What I want is one thing only – for you to succeed… You have to do the work, but I can help. Believe in yourself – keep fighting!” Manley also spoke to the parolees about honesty. “People have been lying to me for 25 or 30 years,” the judge said. “I have listened to every lie imaginable. After all these years, it’s refreshing to hear the truth. People who are honest with me, they get out of jail.” Almost all the parolees in Reentry Court are drug abusers; three-fourths are mentally ill, with diagnoses including schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. At the start of the program, 85 percent of them were homeless. Their post-prison lives are chaotic, and their struggle to stay off illegal drugs is constant. Follow-through is not their strong suit. For that, they find support in Judge Manley’s Department 64. The judge Judge Stephen Manley Manley is the leader of a team of a dozen people – attorneys, psychologists, medical doctors, parole agents and probation officers – who work together to help these parolees stay off drugs and out of prison. Santa Clara Superior Court is a pioneer in such collaborative courts, operating special sessions for veterans, the mentally ill, and drug abusers. Manley initiated the Parolee Reentry Court here three years ago, giving his team a running start when sb x3 18’s pilot program started up in 2010. 3 California Senate Office of Oversight and Outcomes June 1, 2011 In its first three years, Santa Clara County’s Parolee Reentry Court boasts a success rate of about 80 percent — with 20 percent reincarcerated by the state. Under the state’s Board of Parole Hearings, 100 percent would have been back in state prison. After the day’s calendar was done, Manley took off his judicial robes and sat in his chambers, talking about the Reentry Court and why he thinks it could work across the state to reduce prison recidivism. “Our 80 percent completion rate is a result of sticking with people over time,” he said. “I talk about managing people rather than sentencing them. I have a simple view: You need to motivate people to change. It’s not a get-out-of-jail-free card with no accountability – they spend time in the treatment programs, they do time in jail if they screw up.” Eventually, he acknowledges, there will be failures: “With some of them, you just can’t win – they are great manipulators and great fakers. But, if you use this model, overall you will reduce recidivism and you will save the taxpayers’ money. It really does work.” Not every state parolee requires such intensive management, Manley said. He figures that “roughly 20 percent of parolees will go back to prison no matter what, 20 percent will do just fine anyway, 40 percent will make gradual progress on their own. “The remaining 20 percent — the high-risk, high-need group — are the ones who can profit from this. This method works best with the hard core. We are patient with them, we know there will be some relapses, but we tell them that their showing up is more important to us than their screwing up. We applaud their successes and we pay attention to them. For most of them, it’s the first time anyone has paid attention to them.” The team Parolee Reentry Court is a spinoff of the drug court model, one of the major successes of the collaborative court movement nationwide. Collaborative courts emphasize a team approach to criminal justice instead of the traditional adversarial system, which pits prosecutors against defenders under the gavel of an impartial judge. Cases flow through Manley’s court with such speed and success because he has assembled a dedicated and creative team. Manley is quick to give them credit; the team credits the man at the helm. 4 California Senate Office of Oversight and Outcomes June 1, 2011 The team members took a few moments from their hectic schedules to talk about their experiences. Parole agents Eduardo Rodriguez and Mary Pastor Parole: Parole agent Mary Pastor, who works for the state corrections department, has been assigned to Manley’s Reentry Court since April 2008. She remembers being puzzled by her first days in the collaborative setting. “I thought, ‘What in the world? What does this judge want from me?’” said the seasoned parole agent. “What is it with the clapping and singing happy birthday to parolees? But it quickly became clear that the approach works. “For the parolees, the fact that this is a judge is important. Parolees who would cuss at us parole agents – who would scream at us – react differently when it’s a judge they’re talking to. They listen to him – and it means a lot to them that he listens to them. It helps the guys to know that they’re not alone – but there are consequences if they screw up. “These are people with a case file three inches thick. We have tried everything with them. Say it’s a meth user – one dirty drug test, and normally we’d lock them back up. But it doesn’t make sense to lock everyone up.” Pastor said she specifically asked other parole agents to give her their hardest cases – those parolees with the three-inch-thick files. Why would she tackle this challenge? 5 California Senate Office of Oversight and Outcomes June 1, 2011 “Well,” she said, “I guess it’s the cheesy sentiment – if I can help one person, that means something to me. Here, I can help.” Another parole agent, Eduardo Rodriguez, handles the parolee caseload for Manley’s mental health court and also attends Parolee Reentry Court. Rodriguez said he and Pastor can provide insight into parolees’ lives that no one else has. “We know these people – we’ve been to their houses at 6 a.m.,” Rodriguez said. “We’re on the front lines, and we see the challenges they face. We have a good rapport with them, and we can give the judge the information he needs to make decisions about them.” Probation: Probation officers are the county counterpart to state parole agents. Santa Clara County has a special unit of eight probation officers whose clients are diagnosed as mentally ill. These probation officers ask to have their clients assigned to Manley’s Department 64, said Sallie Jensen, a member of the mental health unit. “Our clients are people who have been tossed out of society,” Jensen said. “Some have severe schizophrenia, a huge number are bipolar, many are paranoid. They use illegal drugs to help them cope with the symptoms of their mental illness. Judge Manley gets that. His knowledge is phenomenal. “It takes awhile for these clients to trust us and to trust the judge. I tell them: ‘This court is a unique opportunity. This is another chance for you – maybe your last chance.’ One thing I learned from Judge Manley is not to give up hope. Sometimes, when you think there is no hope for someone, amazing things can happen and they turn their life around.” Public defender: Santa Clara County public defender Jennifer Hultgren has worked in different capacities with Judge Manley’s collaborative courts for the past five years. In Reentry Court, she represents state parolees who are also on county probation or who are charged with a new crime. She assures that her clients’ rights are protected and helps them understand the Reentry Court process. “Here, you take the advocacy hat off a little bit,” she said. “Judge Manley makes it less combative. It’s much more Public Defender Jennifer Hultgren a treatment-oriented atmosphere. 6 California Senate Office of Oversight and Outcomes June 1, 2011 This style isn’t for all the attorneys in my office, but if I could get every client in this courtroom, I would.” The parolee clients are often tripped up by simple activities – navigating the city, signing up for services, remembering appointments. “This is a population by and large that doesn’t follow through,” she said. “It’s so, so hard for them to handle daily life. But they learn that they can come here and it’s easy to check in – to get help – to make progress. If we can make these people be more productive, it benefits all of us. There’s nothing more tragic than writing people off.” Hultgren had generous praise for the judge – and also for parole agents Pastor and Rodriguez. “Those two parole agents are amazing,” the public defender said. “You’ve got to buy into this collaborative system and it was hard for them at the beginning. It’s probably still hard for them among their peers, to seem soft. But having the parole agent right in the courtroom is absolutely indispensable.” Prosecutor: A deputy district attorney, George Chadwick, is also on the Reentry Court team. Like Hultgren, he deals with parolees who are on county probation or face new charges. But, as a prosecutor, he views the process from another angle: consequences. One of his roles is to protect the rights of any victims – and the community at large – by seeing that parolees are held accountable for their behavior. “Consequences are important – consequences really matter,” he said. “If someone fails this program, they get slammed pretty hard. But there isn’t much of a consequence for using illegal drugs, and that does concern me. One guy Judge Manley heard on yesterday’s reentry calendar would have been sentenced to 12 months in prison in another court. “This is the final stop before prison, and these are tough cases. When someone’s sent here, the point is nothing else is working. These are people who need a lot of help, and Judge Manley’s going to cut them some slack. Kicking them out of Parolee Reentry Court would be an admission of utter failure. That’s a hard step for the court to take. So – I guess we’ll see. This is a work in progress.” Psychologists: Susan Sidel and Carol Matzas are therapists with the Reentry Court’s Mental Health Assessment Team. In addition to screening clients for mental illness, they also coordinate their psychiatric treatment, medications, housing, drug treatment, education, job training and benefits. Sidel has worked alongside Judge Manley for eleven years, Matzas 7 California Senate Office of Oversight and Outcomes June 1, 2011 for three. They both said the collaborative approach works. “The judge is this good-guy figure, this grandfather figure that the clients listen to,” Sidel said. “The judge says to them: ‘If you need help, come here. We’ll help you.’ The clients see that in this court, the people in the system who are usually against you – the judge, the parole agent – are for you. “They get positive reinforcement for everything – it’s positive, positive, positive. For these folks, this is something they’ve never had before. Psychologist Carol Matzas Until they learn to believe in themselves, Judge Manley will believe in them.” Matzas, who worked in a clinic before coming to the courthouse, said she is impressed by the array of services available here – from prescription medicine to advice on filing for Social Security. “I see people at this court getting more support than a clinic could ever provide,” she said. “You get a whole umbrella of services here.” Sometimes, though, the program doesn’t work – some parolees just don’t respond. Those are the 20 percent that Manley and his team can’t reach. “The hardest part for me, is that I hate to see anybody go to prison,” Matzas said. “But, when we’ve tried everything, that’s the reality. We have to consider the safety of the community.” Sidel agreed: “Nobody’s going to put the public in peril.” From a parolee’s perspective Parolee Eric Washington’s initial impression of Stephen Manley was not a good one. “The first time I saw Judge Manley,” he said, “just one word came to mind. Clown.” The self-described street thug didn’t realize that he’d finally met his match. Washington’s court file was even thicker than most, with 52 convictions, half of them felonies. “And that was just the convictions,” he said. “It doesn’t count all the charges I got out of.” He was tough, fearless and violent — his criminal record includes nine assaults on police officers. He said he 8 California Senate Office of Oversight and Outcomes June 1, 2011 agreed to participate in Manley’s drug court for one simple reason: to get back on the street so he could get high. In an interview recently, Washington recounted the history that brought him to Manley’s Department 64. “I was a Marine Corps vet, divorced, estranged from my kids, in and out of state prison for two decades, a street thug. I identified with my violent side. I was a ‘regulator’ – an enforcer for drug dealers. All of my criminal record revolved around drugs and drug use. Cocaine first, then I got into meth. It became my drug of choice. “The only thing that bothered me about going to jail or prison was that I wouldn’t be able to be high. Even my mom gave up hope of me ever getting my life on track. Her best hope was for me to stay locked up in prison – at least I’d be alive.” Twice, he managed to evade a third-strike conviction, saved by his eightyear military record. Finally, though, it looked like he’d reached the end. For the third time, he faced his third strike and a life sentence. “The bottom line was, they came to me one day and said, ‘We’ll give you one last chance. You’ll go to Judge Manley’s drug court.’ Frankly, I just saw it as another chance at the street. It hadn’t hit home to me how dire my situation was.” The scene in the collaborative court befuddled him. “I’d never been in an environment where people wanted to help me. It was an alien environment. The judge was talking to everybody – and me too. He was looking at me – looking up, talking to everybody, animated, then looking at me again. No judge had ever looked at me before – just at the lawyers and my paperwork, never at me. “I think it was the third time I went to Judge Manley’s court, that I realized that he was dealing with me as an individual. It was the first time I felt that anyone above public defender was going to do anything for me.” Far from a clown, he began to appreciate Manley as a savvy and practical mentor. “With my years in the system,” Washington said, “I couldn’t help but see how naïve a lot of the judges, prosecutors and public defenders are. They are people with lives and families and bank accounts. I was this drug user on the streets whose only possession was a backpack. My parole agent, 9 California Senate Office of Oversight and Outcomes June 1, 2011 Mary Pastor, has empathy – she likes me a lot – but even she is basically baffled by me. “But I think Manley gets it – he doesn’t look at the why. There is no sane ‘why’ about this drug lifestyle. He lays out the baby steps: ‘Do this one simple thing. Do this and you can be free again.’ He would lay out what was expected – he’d give you a few chances. He got me to realize – hey, I can have a job. I can have a bank account. One thing I also started to understand was that you can’t bullshit him.” Washington hit a turning point with the death of his 17-year-old son, who was involved in drugs and street gangs himself. With Manley’s guidance — now in the judge’s collaborative court for veterans — Washington entered a residential drug treatment program. “I stayed 52 days. Then I spent three months in another program. I did all my out-patient programs. I stayed clean. I found a place to live with a friend. I started getting work, then more work, then more.” Today, at age 51, the former street thug is working three different jobs. In Washington’s long history in the criminal justice system, he says the collaborative spirit in Manley’s court was unique. “In his courtroom, there wasn’t a battle of the lawyers. It wasn’t combative or threatening. Everybody was on the same team. Mental health people were readily available. Everyone there saw the big picture. Everybody there was trying to get me free. I can’t say it was any one thing that made the difference, but it was everything. I’m a free man now – I sometimes can’t believe it. I never saw myself getting out of the system.” The proposal When Governor Brown revealed his 2011-12 budget in January, he included what he characterized as “a vast and historic” plan to restructure public safety in California. A major element of this plan is the realignment of parole from state control to the counties. As part of this realignment, the governor aims to shift the responsibility for parole violations to local jurisdictions, with judges making all parole revocation decisions. The policy of turning parole violators over to the courts is already in statute under ab 109, a budget bill Brown signed into law on April 4, 2011. Judge Manley believes the Parolee Reentry Court model is one way to achieve this. He notes that Reentry Courts exist on a pilot basis in six 10 California Senate Office of Oversight and Outcomes June 1, 2011 California counties: Alameda, Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, San Joaquin, and Santa Clara. The next step, he suggests, is to expand the model statewide. He proposes taking the collaborative drug courts that are already running in 56 California counties and turning them into Parolee Reentry Courts. The state Board of Parole Hearings would be greatly downsized, and most of its $200 million budget turned over to the local level. “This model reduces recidivism and it saves money,” Manley said. “Tell the judges: The drug court model works. Give them a little money to incentivize them – some of that money the state saves by not sending everyone back to prison. Then measure the outcomes. If it doesn’t measure up, the state can take it back. We judges are already the gatekeepers and the safety net. You can blame corrections or parole for our overcrowded prisons – but you cannot get to prison without a judge.” The desired outcome would be a reduction in the number of parole violators sent back to prison each year. In 2009, 27,000 parole violators were returned to custody and then re-paroled after serving three months or less in state prison. Based on a daily cost per inmate of $62.48, collectively those 27,000 re-incarcerated parolees cost taxpayers about $1.69 million for each day they were back in prison. The Reentry Court model was also endorsed in an April 2011 report by a task force of the Judicial Council of California. The report calls for creating specialized calendars for parolees and probationers in every jurisdiction in the state. “Reentry Courts show promise as a strategy to maintain parolees in the community and avoid return to prison or jail,” according to the report. But can Judge Manley’s signature style and good results be translated to county courthouses across California? Asked this question, his team members considered their answers carefully. “One thing to keep in mind is that this is probably the best treatment court in the country,” responded George Chadwick, the deputy da. “We have tremendous resources. We’re spoiled by it here in Santa Clara County. We have psychologists sitting in the courtroom, doctors in the building, really good defense attorneys, mental-health probation officers and a judge who is on top of everything. In a county without those resources and with an unsophisticated judge, how would it work? “One thing that might help the smaller counties would be to concentrate on lower-level offenders. We see some of the most dangerous probationers in our county here in this court. In many other counties, you’d need to be more selective about the parolees. You wouldn’t want the worst of the 11 California Senate Office of Oversight and Outcomes June 1, 2011 worst. I think the best screening would be to let Parole decide who could participate. They are not going to send a monster to a county without any resources.” Parole agent Edward Rodriguez agrees. “For Reentry Court to be successful, we need to send the right people here – people who are likely to benefit from it. And there is a certain population we need to screen out. The chronic absconders and the hardest-core criminals can’t come here.” Mary Pastor, his parole agent colleague, thinks Parolee Reentry Courts can be replicated across the state – and should be. “It would be a good model statewide, and this court can show the way. It’s totally doable elsewhere. If this is what we need to do to reduce recidivism, then let’s do it.” Several team members talked about the importance of the judge in any collaborative court. “Certain judges will never embrace this,” said public defender Jennifer Hultgren. “But I think, in every county, there will be judges who are right for it. And that’s a good thing on a number of fronts. The revolving door is so expensive – it’s just throwing money away.” “Judge Manley is an amazing force,” said psychologist Susan Sidel. “When he sees something is needed, he says, ‘Let’s do it.’ And it’s done. But I think this court could be replicated in other places if they came and watched how he handles things here. Remember that judges are lawyers and politicians. For depleted counties, maybe a savvy judge could gain buy-in from mental health and law enforcement by saying: ‘Let’s stay afloat together.’ In the end, everybody benefits and money is saved.” Psychologist Carol Matzas said other counties should be encouraged to visit Santa Clara County, observe the process, and ask lots questions of everyone on the Reentry Court team. “There are probably plenty of judges and district attorneys in California who care about this population,” Matzas said. “Judge Manley is unique, it’s true — but basically, if you get a judge with a heart, that’s what’s needed.” The word heart was also used by former parolee Eric Washington when asked how Manley’s courtroom could be recreated in other jurisdictions. “Truthfully, it’s hard to visualize the reentry program without Judge Manley,” Washington said. “I can’t say there aren’t more Judge Manleys out there, but my whole time in the system, I never saw another one. You don’t have to duplicate him – but you do need to have a judge with a sincere heart.” 12 California Senate Office of Oversight and Outcomes June 1, 2011 Views from other counties “Judge Manley is the rock star of this stuff,” said Judge Richard Vlavianos in his testimony before the Little Hoover Commission on March 24. “We all wish we could grow up to be Steve Manley someday.” Vlavianos, a Superior Court judge in San Joaquin County, was responding to a commissioner who had just quoted Manley on the high relapse rate among drug abusers. The commission’s hearing focused on reform of the parole system, and Vlavianos was there to talk about his own Reentry Court. San Joaquin County’s Parolee Reentry Court, one of the six pilots set up under sb x3 18, has been running since October. Vlavianos supports Manley’s proposal to set up collaborative courts for parolees statewide – if the courts are given sufficient money to do it. Vlavianos recommends that the Legislature create a collaborative Community Corrections Court in each county with exclusive jurisdiction over parole and probation violations. In an interview, Vlavianos talked about how his experiences in the Stockton courthouse compare with Manley’s “dream team” setup in San Jose. “We don’t have psychologists or psychiatrists who work for the court, but we do get the people who run the treatment programs there in the courtroom,” the judge said. “We have two parole agents and a parole supervisor. The District Attorney chooses not to participate in my county – neither does the public defender’s office. So, what I’ve done is cut a deal with our local law school – Judge Richard Vlavianos their students do the public defender duties, under the supervision of an attorney. I want to make sure I have someone there for the defendant – the parolee.” Whatever the composition of the team, Vlavianos said one component is key: The right judge. “You need a personality type who can convey to the client that he or she sincerely cares about the client’s success,” he said. “There’s something about a judge that is completely different from the other authority figures in a parolee’s life. The judge has that perceived parental role, in terms of 13 California Senate Office of Oversight and Outcomes June 1, 2011 drawing lines of permissible conduct, or in patting people on the back.” He concedes that not every county will necessarily have a judge who is willing – or able — to fill that role. “A small county with only a couple of judges may not have someone who fits the bill,” he said. “But a way around that is to give counties the flexibility to use a judicial officer – a referee—instead of a Superior Court judge. As long as counties have the statutory authority to do this, they can staff it with better-personality types and lower-cost types.” In San Joaquin County, according to Vlavianos, Parolee Reentry Court is working. He figures it’s saved the taxpayers millions of dollars already. “I have 135 parolees in my Reentry Court – for that caseload I spend one afternoon a week,” he said. “Seven months into it, not one has gone back to prison on a parole revocation. Three have been reincarcerated on new offences. So – I’m at a 3 percent recidivism rate. Think how much I could accomplish if I did this full-time!” He said all six pilot courts are experiencing similar results. “Anyone who participates in this process loves it,” Vlavianos said. “It’s contagious. Our parolees are telling other parolees on the run to turn themselves in. You can see the change in the defendants, once you establish trust with them. The light just goes on.” Not everyone, however, is a convert. Edward Busuttil is the Assistant District Attorney for San Joaquin County. Asked why his office chose to “opt out” of the Reentry Court pilot, he gave two reasons: Not enough money. Not enough consequences. “This pilot program came during a kind of a perfect storm in San Joaquin County,” Busuttil said. “We’re laying off attorneys — the last thing we need is another calendar or courtroom to staff. It’s bad timing – maybe if this was 2004 we might have been a little more open to it. Even if we had the staff, though, our overall philosophy is that we don’t want the Reentry Court to become a plea-negotiation chip. Our position is this: You violate parole, then you do your time in state prison, and not in one of these ‘coddle’ courts.” Asked what it would take to get prosecutors to buy into the Reentry Court process, Busuttil said it would take dollars: “Money would be necessary – we wouldn’t mind some trickle-down money. If the state wants to buy us a person to sit in there and make objections, okay.” 14 California Senate Office of Oversight and Outcomes June 1, 2011 Bonnie Dumanis was talking about this kind of mindset when she told the Little Hoover Commission: “das are a feisty group.” She speaks from experience; Dumanis is the district attorney of San Diego County. She testified along with Judge Vlavianos at the commission’s March 24 hearing. Dumanis described San Diego County’s successful offender reentry program, including its own Parolee Reentry Court. She said that since the pilot Reentry Court began on Jan. 10, 2011, it had already fielded 40 participants. “Based on the stayed prison sentences of the participants deferred from prison and into the Reentry Court Program, the (state) Department of Corrections has avoided over 100 years of prison time for these 40 participants,” according to her written San Diego County District testimony. Attorney Bonnie Dumanis “I am passionate about this,” the district attorney told the commissioners. Responding to their questions, Dumanis said she is in favor of realigning parole supervision to the counties. “I support the idea that we locals can do it better, if we have the money,” she said. Asked what else the counties needed, she replied: “The answer is, only money. We have all the tools to do the job. What we need is money to get our probation officers up to speed and to get the programs up to speed.” She said she’d put the money into mental health and substance abuse programs and into vocational training – as well as hiring additional prosecutors and public defenders for the increased caseload. “Remember,” she said, “one way or another, this is a population that comes back to us anyway. This is a group that recidivates. For law enforcement, we see these people every day. We get them the way they are, and we know they need help. The biggest mental-health provider in San Diego County is the jail. I believe that the more participants you have in the reentry program, the more efficient and cost effective it will be.” 15 California Senate Office of Oversight and Outcomes June 1, 2011 California Counties with Collaborative Justice Courts X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X YOUTH/PEER X VETERANS TRUANCY HOMELESS/ STAND-DOWN MENTAL HEALTH ADULT MENTAL HEALTH JUVENILE X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X ELDER DUI X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X DRUG - DEPENDENCY DRUG - JUVENILE DELINQUENCY X REENTRY Alameda Alpine Amador Butte Calaveras Colusa Contra Costa Del Norte El Dorado Fresno Glenn Humboldt Imperial Inyo Kern Kings Lake Lassen Los Angeles Madera Marin Mariposa Mendocino Merced Modoc Mono Monterey Napa DRUG - ADULT Superior Court of California, County of COMMUNITY Appendix H: California Counties With Collaborative Justice Courts X X X X X X X X X X X X X Source: Administrative Office of the Courts. April 2011. 16 California Senate Office of Oversight and Outcomes June 1, 2011 X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X TRUANCY X YOUTH/PEER X X X VETERANS X REENTRY X X X X X HOMELESS/ STAND-DOWN MENTAL HEALTH ADULT MENTAL HEALTH JUVENILE X X X ELDER X X X DUI DRUG - DEPENDENCY X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X DRUG - JUVENILE DELINQUENCY Nevada Orange Placer Plumas Riverside Sacramento San Benito San Bernardino San Diego San Francisco San Joaquin San Luis Obispo San Mateo Santa Barbara Santa Clara Santa Cruz Shasta Sierra Siskiyou Solano Sonoma Stanislaus Sutter Tehama Trinity Tulare Tuolumne Ventura Yolo Yuba DRUG - ADULT Superior Court of California, County of COMMUNITY California Counties with Collaborative Justice Courts (continued) X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X 17 California Senate Office of Oversight and Outcomes June 1, 2011 Judge Manley confers with his top aide, Actricia Barrieau Acknowledgements Special thanks to Judge Stephen Manley, who provided unfettered access to his courtroom, and to Actricia Barrieau, his deft and thoughtful assistant, who organized our visits and answered my many inquiries. Also thanks to Senate Photographer Lorie Shelley for her time and talent in shooting the pictures of Judge Manley and his team for this report. — Dorothy Korber, Senate Office of Oversight and Outcomes 18 Senate Office of Oversight and Outcomes 1020 N Street, Suite 560 Sacramento, CA 95814 Telephone (916) 651-1518 Facsimile (916) 324-5927 sooo.senate.ca.gov Special Counsel John Adkisson • firstname.lastname@example.org Office Manager Cathy Cruz • email@example.com Principal Consultant John Hill • firstname.lastname@example.org Principal Consultant Dorothy Korber • email@example.com Principal Consultant Nancy Vogel • firstname.lastname@example.org 1496-S Additional copies of this publication may be purchased for $4.25 per copy (includes shipping and handling), plus current California sales tax. Senate Publications & Flags 1020 N Street, B-53 Sacramento, CA 95814 (916) 651-1538 Make checks or money orders payable to Senate Rules Committee. Credit cards not accepted. 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