Mentally Ill and Medically Fragile Offender Program
Since the advent of California Assembly Bill 109 (AB109), the San Bernardino County Probation Department has seen an influx of offenders suffering from mental illness and those deemed medically fragile. The Probation Department established three Day Reporting Centers in major geographical areas designed as one-stop service centers for the reentry population providing best practices in treatment and rehabilitation, including a Mental Health Unit. Probation assembled a team including Behavioral Health, Arrowhead Regional Medical Center, Public Health, Sheriff’s Department, Transitional Assistance, Public Defender, District Attorney and Community Housing. Medical and mental health screenings are fast-tracked to prevent lengthy incarcerations, medication management and therapeutic interventions are in place immediately upon release. Housing and public assistance are prepared to stabilize the offender within the community. The District Attorney and Public Defender work together. Services on the front-end are a cost savings for the county jail and hospital facilities. Of the 404 medically fragile and mentally ill offenders assigned to our Mental Health Units, less than 2% have been returned to custody. This 2% recidivism drops further once routine programming and needed services are accepted by the probationer. To date, none of the medically fragile offenders have been rearrested or readmitted to the hospital due to insufficient care. This is in contrast to the medical fragile and mentally ill supervised on regular caseloads. The combined efforts of this Custody to Community (CTC) Program ensures the smooth reentry of offenders from State and local custody, reduces homelessness and recidivism. It also increases community safety and is a benefit to the client’s rehabilitation efforts and a cost savings to the County. As such, we are encouraged by the initial results.