California Funds Prison Rehab Programs

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) earlier this month awarded a number of one-time grants aimed at expanding rehabilitative programs in the state’s prisons. In total, the state committed $2.5 million to efforts to “boost innovative programs and increase volunteerism in prisons,” according to a statement by the CDCR.

Grant funds will support volunteers and not-for-profit organizations that already operate successful programs in some California prisons. It will also help extend those existing programs to prisons in need of greater volunteer involvement or assistance.

“There are many positive programs in California prisons that focus on offender responsibility and have demonstrated success,” Millicent Tidwell, director of the CDCR’s Division of Rehabilitative Programs, said in a statement. “We hope to reach more inmates by expanding those rehabilitative programs to prisons that have been typically underserved.”

Approximately $2 million of the total award will come directly from the state’s Inmate Welfare Fund, a trust where all proceeds from inmate canteen and hobby shop sales are deposited. These proceeds are required to be spent on the benefit, education and welfare of state prison inmates. The remaining $500,000 will come from the Recidivism Reduction Fund created by Senate Bill 105 last year.

Recipients will receive two rounds of funding: half initially and half on or after Dec. 1, 2015. The second portion will only be allocated once the CDCR determines that sufficient progress has been made in developing the funded programs. At the end of the grant period, it is expected the programs will have been implemented, additional volunteer resources developed, and the programs able to be sustained in the future through the normal prison budget, according to a statement by the CDCR.

Correctional facilities slated to receive this new grant funding include the
California Correctional Institution in Cummings Valley, California Health Care Facility; California Medical Facility in Stockton, the California Substance Abuse Treatment Facility and State Prison in Corcoran and the Deuel Vocational Institution near Tracy. A number of state prisons will also benefit from the award, such Kern Valley State Prison in Delano, Mule Creek State Prison in Ione and Wasco State Prison in Wasco.

A full list of grant recipients and programs is available here.