Thursday, February 13, 2014

Nichalos Graves' reach for redemption: an AB 109 story

Passage of AB 109 by the California Assembly two years ago has focused new attention on the problem of re-integrating formerly incarcerated people back into society. The legislation was brought about by Federal court rulings that forced California to address its overcrowded prisons. AB 109’s solution is to transfer thousands of non-violent, non-sexual, non-serious offenders to county correction systems. The bill also provided billions of dollars to the counties to handle the influx. But the new law provides little guidance to counties on how to use the money. A few counties have pushed most of the money into building new jails and hiring law enforcement. Others, like Alameda, are focused more on providing services that will help the formerly incarcerated re-enter the community as peaceful productive citizens. In the north bay area, Solano County is using AB109 funds to help people like 24-year old Nichalos Graves, who was released from Deuel (pronounced like dual)Vocational Institution in Tracy in 2013. Tom Herriman reports from Vallejo.