Portantino’s Bill to Fight Recidivism Now A State Law

Sen. Anthony Portantino

A bill sponsored by State Sen. Anthony Portantino to help released offenders connect with nonprofit service providers has been signed into law by Gov. Gavin Newsom.

The bill was suggested by the Pasadena Police Department, and will allow local law-enforcement agencies to share access to helpful information to those under supervised release and help the offenders connect the with nonprofit service providers, according to Portantino’s office.

“I am very glad that this effort by the Pasadena PD has proven to be so successful and they suggested to expand the program,” said Portantino, whose district includes South Pasadena.

“Pasadena has had tremendous success lowering recidivism and working to connect releases with services. SB 620 (the name of the bill) will further enhance those efforts. Our local numbers don’t lie as Pasadena has a substantially lower recidivism rate than Los Angeles County and the State.”

SB 620 enables individuals to have their contact information shared with nonprofit providers in addition to city and country services. The bill is constructed to take away the gaps in support that exist between previously incarcerated people and the service provides who help them break the cycle of reoffending through case management, systems navigation, financial literacy, apprentice preparation, mental health and substance abuse programming.

“A deeper access to nonprofits committed to servicing persons most in need can help transform lives by developing living-wage careers and breaking the barriers to successful untreated trauma and effective substance abuse treatment,” said PPD Chief John Perez.

“The Pasadena Police Department stands by Senator Portantino’s efforts in uplifting people affected by violence and incarceration by helping to reduce recidivism and healing communities as a whole. The relationships between law enforcement and the communities they serve must be grounded in trust in order to ensure safety and protections to all and the Senator’s efforts allow the further building of these relationships.”

As it currently stands, people released from incarceration are often returned to their home city without guidance or resources. Officials in law enforcement have release data and personal information of the parolees and their Post Release Community Supervision probationers. However, they cannot connect people previously incarcerated with service providers, making it difficult to break a cycle of recidivism.

In Los Angeles County, 47 percent of people who return from incarceration offend again and are incarcerated within three years, according to the release. By being able to contact those people returning to society, service provides will be able to focus their efforts and grant funds on them to help them succeed.

In addition to the Pasadena PD’s support, the bill was supported by the Riverside Sheriff Department and by the California Police Chiefs Association.