Alameda County Justice Restoration Project Launched

OAKLAND, CA – Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O’Malley today announced that the District Attorney’s Office, leading a partnership of county agencies, community partners and non-government resource providers, has launched the Alameda County Justice Restoration Project.

The Justice Restoration Project is a unique project in that it is a Pay For Success Project, with seed funding awarded by the Bureau of State and Community Corrections through a competitive grant program. Pay For Success is a fiscal partnership between a government agency, in this case Alameda County, under the leadership of the District Attorney’s Office, and private or foundation funders. The non-government funds are invested in a project with specific contractual milestones and outcomes.

Through the Justice Restoration Project, the guiding principles are focused on successful outcomes for young adults who are on felony probation or who have been charged with certain felony crimes. Not only does the project focus on reducing and eliminating recidivism, but on providing the resources and processes for individuals to build bright futures. The Justice Restoration Project will focus on young adults ages 18-24 and will be evaluated by WestEd, an independent research and assessment organization.

This project enables Alameda County to create and implement a new model for addressing community safety by breaking the cycle of crime and incarceration with intensive services including individualized coaching and intensive case management. Now in its pilot phase, the project will serve 29 young adults, and the full program, which starts in January 2018 will serve an additional 150 young adults.

“This project provides a pathway for a better life,” says DA Nancy O’Malley. “Under the leadership of the District Attorney’s Office, we are changing the paradigm from simply supervision-based probation, to building outcomes of success. We understand that recidivism is a problem that plagues communities throughout the county, the state, and the nation.

"Repeatedly jailing low level offenders without providing supportive services and opportunities for employment and education is not the answer. The criminal justice system and our citizens are best served when we embrace new ideas and approaches to addressing crime, punishment, and rehabilitation,” says DA O'Malley.

A key partner is La Familia Counseling Services, a community based organization that will support young adults returning to their neighborhoods in Alameda County through its Individualized Coaching Model. Clients will be paired for 18 months with coaches with similar life experiences who will provide dedicated engagement and mentorship. Coaches will coordinate with probation officers and trained professionals to streamline access to an array of services that is challenging for clients to navigate without support.

The program has been developed and spearheaded by the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office in collaboration with the Probation Department, the County Administrator’s Office, and the Sheriff’s Office, among other county partners. The Harvard Kennedy School Government Performance Lab has been working with the DA’s office since 2015 to develop the project. BOSS and other community based organizations will be program partners under the project management of Third Sector Capital Partners, Inc.

The project is funded by a mix of federal, state, county, and philanthropic dollars, including funding from Alameda County, the Board of State and Community Corrections (BSCC), pursuant to California Assembly Bill 1837, and transaction structuring support from the California Pay for Success Initiative, administered by Nonprofit Finance Fund and funded by The James Irvine Foundation and transaction structuring support through an award to Nonprofit Finance Fund funded through 2014 appropriations from the Social Innovation Fund Pay for Success Transaction Structuring Competition.