New Plan to Keep AB 109 Criminals from Re-Offending

REDDING, Calif. - Shasta County supervisors say a stable living situation is the key to keeping criminal offenders from committing more crimes, and they have put together a plan to make it happen.

The Shasta County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved what could be up to a three-year $544,000 contract with Northern Valley Catholic Social Services to evaluate prisoners returned to the county under the realignment bill AB 109 at the community corrections center.

From there, Social Services will determines if they are homeless and evaluate their immediate needs.

It is not truly designed to give them financial assistance as much as it is designed to give the offenders the tools to get into appropriate housing.

Chief Probation Officer Wes Forman said there is a good chance that "homelessness can lead to lawlessness."

All five supervisors voted in favor of trying to reduce the number of homeless offenders.

Supervisor Les Baugh said he had personally seen it work when he and his wife took in a couple no one else would take.

During the meeting, Supervisor Wes Forman said about 14 percent of the returning AB 109 offenders so far would be defined as homeless, or "not having a place to stay at least one night a month."

Forman said he wants to see that number reduced.

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