Shasta County on Friday took a step toward cushioning some of the blows delivered by AB 109. A new center opened that will evaluate and treat some of criminals that are most likely to re-offend.
The new community corrections center aims to treat criminal’s needs, and turn them into productive citizens.
“It's a one stop center so we do not lose the motivation and attention that individuals come with then they first report to probation,” said Shasta County Chief Probation Officer Wes Foreman.
Offenders will now come have their needs will be evaluated and employees will determine what they need to avoid a life of crime. Those that need more intense supervision will be served next door in the new day reporting center.
“But some individuals need daily focused attention where they can come in and do some urinalysis testing,” said Forman.
Amongst other things, offenders who report daily will have to be drug and alcohol free. They'll learn life skills like honesty and respect, and they’ll be taught how their actions can affect others.
“It’s a behavior based program. So they are going to progress through the phases based on how quickly or slowly it takes them to change their behavior,” said Nathan Lelek who is the District Manager for Behavior Interventions or BI, the company contracted to run the center.
“So what they have learned over the years, we need to help them unlearn and learn a new way,” said Lelek.
BI has a proven track record of reducing recidivism. They claim only 20-30 percent of graduates re-offend, much better than the statewide average of 70 percent.
While the assessment side of the corrections center will serve all people on probation, the day reporting center will only serve 100 at a time. They plan to take 25 new offenders a week and cycle them out after a few months.