The Honorable Ricardo Lara
Chair, Senate Appropriations Committee
Sacramento, CA 95814
RE: SB 219 (Liu) – Support
Dear Senator Lara:
I am writing in support of SB 219 (Liu). This bill will provide a durable solution to California’s prison crisis and improve families’ lives by helping to ensure all eligible state-incarcerated women can participate in the Alternative Custody Program.
The Alternative Custody Program allows certain incarcerated women to serve the remainder of their sentences in approved facilities in their community in order to reunite families and keep children out of the foster care system. By connecting incarcerated women to vital services, such as substance abuse programs, housing and employment opportunities, the program encourages economic, emotional and familial security to help end the cycle of incarceration. I applaud SB 219 for expanding access to the program by enacting a responsible timeline for application review and providing applicants with an opportunity to appeal.
Further, I am in support of assisting program participants with enrollment in medical coverage and removing exclusions from the program based on prior medical or psychiatric conditions. Eliminating such barriers to entry will help to decrease our state’s corrections spending and move us towards a sustainable solution to prison population reduction.
I support SB 219, and I strongly encourage your support on this important measure.
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