Originally posted at CSAC.

In 2011, the California Legislature passed AB 109 — a plan to comply with federal court orders to reduce the prison population by about 35,000 inmates. Under this plan, California’s 58 counties began incarcerating, supervising and rehabilitating non-serious, non-violent, and non-sexual criminal offenders. The plan is now two years old.

Since then, California Counties have risen to the challenge, implementing evidence-based practices that identify individual offender’s risk factors and providing services, treatment and other resources to help reduce the risk of reoffending.  CSAC originally four “Smart Justice” videos,  highlighting Glenn, San Bernardino, San Joaquin and San Mateo counties, where staff has developed and implemented creative and successful programs that are making our communities safer and helping to reduce recidivism.

“Our goal is to highlight some AB 109 success stories and help counties share and replicate programs that are working,” stated CSAC Communications Director Gregg Fishman.

We are continuing the Smart Justice series with videos focusing in on specific aspects of AB 109 programming in six additional counties; Ventura, San Diego, Marin, Contra Costa, Merced and Colusa.

This week features Ventura County’s STEPS program, which helps offenders polish their resume and interviewing skills. The program also builds relationships with employers in the community so they see the benefits of hiring someone in the program. This comprehensive approach to employment for offenders helps people get back on their feet and stay out of incarceration. Check it out below.