During 2018, many of our clients rolled up their sleeves to drive justice system policy and reform. Here is a look into our work with Los Angeles and Santa Cruz Counties to improve outcomes for justice-involved and justice-impacted people in their communities.
In 2000, the State of California passed the Juvenile Justice Crime Prevention Act (JJCPA) to provide a continuous source of funding for local juvenile justice programs aimed at reducing crime and delinquency among at-risk youth. From 2017-2018, Los Angeles County Probation Department contracted RDA to conduct an evaluation of their JJCPA-funded programs, which prioritize: 1) Enhanced Mental Health Services, 2) Enhanced Services to High-Risk/High-Need Youth, and 3) Enhanced School and Community-Based Services. As part of this evaluation, RDA partnered with Youth Justice Coalition, an advocacy group of justice-impacted youth, to better understand the perspectives of youth and families served by these programs. RDA’s evaluation assessed the implementation and effectiveness of JJCPA programs in relation to local priorities and best practices. RDA’s Gap Analysis Report presents the evaluation findings and recommendations for system improvements, aiming to inform the work of LA County’s Juvenile Justice Coordinating Council as they plan reforms to improve outcomes for impacted youth.
In 2011, California voters passed Assembly Bill 109 (AB 109), known as “Public Safety Realignment,” which transferred the responsibility for people convicted of certain classes of non-violent, non-serious, and non-sex felonies from the state to the counties. AB 109 required that counties 1) create a Community Corrections Partnership (CCP) to oversee the implementation of the bill, and 2) use AB 109 funding to build partnerships with local health and social service agencies and community-based organizations. In 2018, building on a Process Evaluation assessing the implementation of AB 109-funded services in Santa Cruz County, RDA completed a Recidivism Memo that provides an overview of recidivism among Santa Cruz County’s AB 109 population, and an analysis of factors associated with their likelihood to recidivate. Upon completion of the project, the Probation Department expressed that as they “move into the next phase of implementation, [RDA’s] findings and recommendations will continue to shape better programs, policies, and outcomes for the local population.”