The Record — Change the way they think.
The answer to reforming criminal offenders is to teach them pro-social behavior, criminal justice expert and featured speaker Edward Latessa said at a Thursday forum.
San Joaquin County has incorporated Latessa's advice into solutions created to deal with the county's new stream of criminals since California shifted responsibility of certain felons to its 58 counties in October 2011 to lower the state prison population.
Realignment law AB109 has, in a sense, shifted the overcrowding issues to counties, including San Joaquin, where jail overcrowding was exacerbated.
But the law also sparked a new holistic approach to handling offenders, one that focuses on data-driven rehabilitation and jail alternatives.
Thursday's forum at Stockton Memorial Civic Auditorium was organized by the county Probation Department, the lead planning agency on the implementation of realignment law AB109. Latessa, director of the School of Criminal Justice at the University of Cincinnati, informed the roughly 210 people in attendance of his findings and other research.
A Pennsylvania parole study, for example, determined parole violators, among other risks, are:
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