Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's)
- In April of 2001, this unit was developed under the direction of Sheriff Leroy D. Baca.
- The unit was tasked with finding an effective means of breaking the cycle of recidivism. Incorporating Sheriff Baca's beliefs and his vision for the more humane treatment of incarcerated persons, the CTU was developed to specifically address the issues of how to bridge the gap from incarceration to the community. The CTU has taken a leading role in making major philosophical changes in the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department's jail operations and, also, in the implementation of Jail Team Policing (JTP), which is best described as Community Oriented Policing (COP) for the jails.
The CTU has enhanced inmate participation in educational, vocational, and other life-skills training programs, and has assisted with their successful reintegration into the community. This is currently being established through the numerous partnerships created between correctional staff and both public and private community based organizations. These partners include a variety of organizations, including: faith-based service groups; Community Based Organizations (CBO's); "One-Stop" job and homeless assistance centers; homeless shelters; and government agencies etc. To see a sample list of the partner organizations and service providers with whom the CTU has established a working relationship, CLICK HERE!
We have a staff of 26 Department personnel who remain focused on our mission. We have liaisons at Twin Towers Correctional Facility (TTCF), working specifically with mentally ill inmates; Century Regional Detention Facility (CRDF), working specifically with women; Men's Central Jail who work with the general population inmates; North County Correctional Facility (NCCF), East and the North Annex who work with the vocational program participants and a secondary group of incarcerated persons; each of these dedicated department personnel are assigned to work with inmates who are homeless, who are afflicted with chronic and terminal medical conditions, and those inmates that suffer from mental illness.
In reviewing the numbers of inmates that the CTU has serviced, the following is a snapshot of what the CTU has been involved in over the past few months, and
what the future has in store:
During the fiscal year 2005 - 2006 the CTU reached out to well over 10,000 inmates.
Our case managers identified inmates with needs such as: medical and mental health, homelessness, pregnant females and incarcerated veterans. Included within this group are, approximately, 2,196 inmates who have been transitioned into outside community based programs. These programs provide a myriad of services including but, not limited to specialized living environments, substance abuse counseling, mental health support, job development and employment assistance.
Through the vision of Sheriff Baca, the CTU has developed a dormitory specifically designed to assist honorably discharged veterans. This ground-breaking venture was located at Century Regional Detention Facility and has since been relocated to the South Facility. On March 5, 2002, the Sheriff celebrated the grand opening of the Veterans Dorm. This event was a complete success. The accolades by representatives from the California State Assembly, California State Senate, and local governmental agencies including Federal and State Judges were resounding. Approximately 90 inmates are housed in the Veterans Dorm on a daily basis. They are case managed by CTU liaisons, along with case managers from the United States Veterans Administration, the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, Volunteers of America, and the Hacienda-La Puente Unified School District. In collaboration with these partners, we have developed a sixteen week program addressing areas of education, vocational training, personal relationships, life skills, substance abuse education, computer skills and job readiness classes. These men voluntarily request placement in this dorm when they are ready to take the first steps to change their lives.
The CTU has also developed an ongoing partnership with Volunteers of America - GRACE Project. This program is a collaboration between the Volunteers of America and the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department's Medical Services Bureau, Quality Assurance Section. Together, we are able to provide transitional case management for terminally ill inmates. The model features early identification and referral, comprehensive individualized plans of care, support for continuity into other care settings, and miscellaneous other services including hospice care.
The CTU has developed a partnership with Volunteers of America (VOA) offering services to inmates in the Inmate Reception Center release area. VOA has a representative stationed inside the of CTU office for approximately eight hours a day (8 AM to 4 PM), five days a week. This representative makes contacts with inmates, as they are being released, inquiring if they need immediate assistance or transportation to their drop in center. On several occasions, VOA has assisted the CTU in transportation of critically disabled inmates to their residences, when family members were unable to respond.
The CTU has developed a partnership with the Los Angeles International Institute wherein the CTU receives a $500.00 a month allotment of taxi vouchers, free of charge, to be used for the benefit formerly incarcerated persons. This partnership now enables CTU case managers to facilitate the effective transportation of clients directly to the door of the service provider. This partnership resulted in a mandate by the management staff at the Inmate Reception Center (IRC), IRC policy now states that all persons who need transitional services in the IRC lobby will be referred to the CTU.
The CTU developed and implemented the Department of Public Social Services (DPSS) partnership. This partnership includes the placement of a DPSS satellite office in IRC, the DPSS staff now literally share an office with the CTU. This project was funded by the Board of Supervisor's in June of 2006 and was designed and implemented by the CTU in December 2006. The project has resulted in over 2,000 clients receiving general relief and Cal Works benefits at the moment of release. This collaborative project between the Sheriff and DPSS resulted in the County of Los Angeles receiving the National Association of Counties Award for 2007. This national recognition hailed the CTU's design of the Sheriff DPSS Jail-In-Reach Project as an effective and innovative program which contributed to to and enhanced county government in the United States.
The CTU is developing a web site, for the Internet, so that hose outside groups with established relationships with the Department can share with us information about the ex-inmates that enter into their programs, the progress of these ex-inmates, and the successes which will assist in creating a uniform data and recidivism tracking system. This will be the first ever real-time information-sharing web site in use by a law enforcement agency.
The CTU has evolved into the homeless services response unit. In the future the CTU will assist field operations divisions with planned homeless sweeps throughout Los Angeles County.
It is the goal of the CTU to break the cycle of re-arrest and homelessness among the inmates willing to work to improve themselves. The Community Transition Unit is leading the way in achieving this goal. Since our inception, there have been numerous contacts from other agencies inquiring about our concept and requesting assistance in developing similar type programs for their organization, i.e. Ventura County Sheriff's Department, Orange County Sheriff's Department, Pima County Sheriff's Department, Arizona, and the Department of Corrections.
With the guidelines set forth in the Sheriff's vision and the current legislative support, it is paramount to maintain the Department's support of this innovative unit known as the Community Transition Unit.