New Report on Riverside County Budget Decisions to Improve Community Safety

| Press Release |

This report is part of a collaborative effort between the ACLU of Southern California, Starting Over Inc., Straight Talk Inc., and Human Impact Partners to review the impacts of the local criminal justice system on community health in Riverside County.

Riverside, CA — In the face of federal-level rollbacks on civil rights and a call to “law and order,” criminal justice advocates and public health researchers are committed to showcasing that community safety and health are achievable goals with the right mix of programs to prioritize accessibility to housing, better health outcomes for all, reducing harm while offering treatment for behaviors that are typically criminalized, and holding people accountable to their actions without excessive punishment.

The new policy analysis report, Health and Safe Riverside County: Investing in What Works, tells the story of how investing in evidence-based interventions both inside and outside of the justice system can the improve health and well-being of Riverside County residents while protecting community safety and saving money.

Top Recommendations

1. Offer more programs for people at risk of involvement in the criminal justice system outside of the criminal justice system

  • Increase housing options for people returning from jail and prison.
  • Increase access to employment services for those re-entering from prison and jail.
  • Increase treatment and services for youth and families.
  • Increase health care (mental and physical) and substance use treatment services.

2. Identify and publish savings and saving re-investments from Prop 47.

3. Increase the transparency of the county budget process.

4. Annually publish county funding of programs that prevent crime and create healthy communities.

Why this report matters
  • Now, more than ever, it’s critical to understand where funds are allocated in local budgets — and to choose programs that prevent crime before it happens, that cut costs, and that promote health and well-being.
  • With millions of dollars coming in through AB109 (Public Safety Realignment of 2011) and more coming from Proposition 47, there is an opportunity to invest county resources in evidence-based programs that improve community safety and reduce mass incarceration and the criminalization of mental health, substance use issues, and homelessness.

Go to Report Page