Deputy Chris Sanchez to Speak at Holy Names University on the Public Safety Realignment Act

Holy Names University’s Counseling and Forensic Psychology Programs announced today that Chris Sanchez, a Deputy Probation Officer for San Mateo County (with almost 15 years of experience) will speak about the effects of the realignment of the California Corrections System.

The law states: “The California legislature, in April 2011, passed the Public Safety Realignment Act in an effort to reduce the number of offenders incarcerated in the state prison system and to assist in alleviating the state’s fiscal crisis. The Act transfers responsibility for supervising inmates convicted of specific low-level crimes and parolees from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) to counties” (San Mateo County Community Corrections Partnership – Realignment Local Implementation Plan Executive Summary, April 24, 2012).

Deputy Sanchez has seen the changes that have affected San Mateo county probation and has currently taken on the role of parole officer. He is working with the realignment that is moving all state parolee responsibilities down to the county levels in San Mateo. In addition, he has seen the implementation of intermediate sanctions, such as electronic monitoring and work release programs, and knows the intricacies of the system. Deputy Sanchez has witnessed how a multidisciplinary team can make the difference in the successful rehabilitation and reintegration of offenders in the future.

Sanchez will discuss the effects of the realignment of the California Corrections System on counties throughout California. San Mateo County is currently creating a Community Corrections Partnership that is geared towards reducing recidivism in its low-level offenders group. The main goals of the program are: protecting public safety, creating opportunities for rehabilitation and recovery, and providing direct case management and services in substance abuse, mental health, vocation and housing support. The programs that are currently in place include probation, parole, therapy and counseling, job skills training and job placement programs – all under one roof. This structure makes it more accessible to offenders and ensures that required meetings are attended.

Associate Professor and Director of Counseling & Forensic Psychology, Dr. Helen Shoemaker explains, “It is important to have a presentation in this area by someone so well-informed about the new Community Corrections partnership in San Mateo and with such a depth and breadth of experience. This will provide our staff and students with critical insights into the challenges of effectively implementing this Act.”

For more information on the program, please view the full report (PDF).

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