Article 5. Supportive Housing Program For Mentally Ill Parolees of California Penal Code >> Title 1. >> Part 3. >> Chapter 7. >> Article 5.

It is the intent of the Legislature in enacting this article to provide evidence-based, comprehensive mental health and supportive services, including housing subsidies, to parolees who suffer from mental illness and are at risk of homelessness, in order to successfully reintegrate the parolees into the community, increase public safety, and reduce state costs of recidivism. It is further the intent of the Legislature to supplement existing parole outpatient clinic services by providing services to individuals who suffer from a severe mental illness, as defined in Section 5600.3 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, and who require services that cannot be provided by parole outpatient clinics, including services provided pursuant to Section 5806 of the Welfare and Institutions Code.
For purposes of this article, the following definitions shall apply:
  (a) "Department" means the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.
  (b) "Supportive housing" has the same meaning set forth in subdivision (b) of Section 50675.14 of the Health and Safety Code, and that, in addition, is decent, safe, and affordable.
  (c) "Transitional housing" has the same meaning set forth in subdivision (h) of Section 50675.2 of the Health and Safety Code, and that, in addition, is decent, safe, and affordable.
(a) Pursuant to Section 3073, the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation shall provide a supportive housing program that provides wraparound services to mentally ill parolees who are at risk of homelessness using funding appropriated by the Legislature for that purpose.
  (b) Providers participating in this program shall comply with all of the following:
  (1) Provide services and treatment based on best practices.
  (2) Demonstrate that the program reduces recidivism and homelessness among program participants.
  (3) Have prior experience working with county or regional mental health programs.
  (c) (1) An inmate or parolee is eligible for participation in this program if all of the following are applicable:
  (A) He or she has a serious mental disorder as defined in Section 5600.3 of the Welfare and Institutions Code and as identified by the department, and he or she has a history of mental health treatment in the prison's mental health services delivery system or in a parole outpatient clinic.
  (B) The inmate or parolee voluntarily chooses to participate.
  (C) Either of the following applies:
  (i) He or she has been assigned a date of release within 60 to 180 days and is likely to become homeless upon release.
  (ii) He or she is currently a homeless parolee.
  (2) First priority for the program shall be given to the lowest functioning offenders in prison, as identified by the department, who are likely to become homeless upon release.
  (3) For purposes of this subdivision, a person is "likely to become homeless upon release" if he or she has a history of "homelessness" as that term is used in Section 11302(a) of Title 42 of the United States Code and if he or she satisfies both of the following criteria:
  (A) He or she has not identified a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence for release.
  (B) His or her only identified nighttime residence for release includes a supervised publicly or privately operated shelter designed to provide temporary living accommodations, or a public or private place not designed for, or is not ordinarily used as, a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings.
(a) Each provider shall offer services, in accordance with Section 5806 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, to obtain and maintain health and housing stability while participants are on parole, to enable the parolee to comply with the terms of parole, and to augment mental health treatment provided to other parolees. The services shall be offered to participants in their home, or be made as easily accessible to participants as possible and shall include, but are not limited to, all of the following:
  (1) Case management services.
  (2) Parole discharge planning.
  (3) Housing location services, and, if needed, move-in cost assistance.
  (4) Rental subsidies.
  (5) Linkage to other services, such as vocational, educational, and employment services, as needed.
  (6) Benefit entitlement application and appeal assistance.
  (7) Transportation assistance to obtain services and health care needed.
  (8) Assistance obtaining appropriate identification.
  (b) For participants identified prior to release from state prison, upon the provider's receipt of referral and, in collaboration with the parole agent and, if appropriate, staff, the intake coordinator or case manager of the provider shall, when possible:
  (1) Receive all prerelease assessments and discharge plans.
  (2) Draft a plan for the participant's transition into housing that serves the participant's needs and is affordable, such as permanent supportive housing, or a transitional housing program that includes support services and demonstrates a clear transition pathway to permanent housing.
  (3) Engage the participant to actively participate in services upon release.
  (4) Assist in obtaining identification for the participant, if necessary.
  (5) Assist in applying for any benefits for which the participant is eligible.
  (c) (1) To facilitate the transition of participants identified prior to release into the community and participants identified during parole into supportive housing, each provider shall, on an ongoing basis, not less than quarterly, assess each participant's needs and include in each participant's assessment a plan to foster independence and a residence in permanent housing once parole is complete.
  (2) Upon referral to the provider, the provider shall work to transition participants from the department's rental assistance to other mainstream rental assistance benefits if those benefits are necessary to enable the participant to remain in stable housing, and shall prioritize transitioning participants to these benefits in a manner that allows participants to remain housed, when possible, without moving. Mainstream rental assistance benefits may include, but are not limited to, federal Housing Choice Voucher assistance, Department of Housing and Urban Development-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing vouchers, or other rental assistance programs.
  (3) The participant's parole discharge plan and the assessments shall consider the need for and prioritize linkage to county mental health services and housing opportunities that are supported by the Mental Health Services Act, the Mental Health Services Act Housing Program, or other funding sources that finance permanent supportive housing for persons with mental illness, so that the participant may continue to achieve all recovery goals of the program and remain permanently housed once the term of parole ends.
(a) Providers shall identify and locate supportive housing and transitional housing opportunities for participants prior to release from state prison or as quickly upon release from state prison as possible, or as quickly as possible when participants are identified during parole.
  (b) Housing identified pursuant to subdivision (a) shall satisfy both of the following:
  (1) The housing is located in an apartment building, single-room occupancy buildings, townhouses, or single-family homes, including rent-subsidized apartments leased in the open market or set aside within privately owned buildings.
  (2) The housing is not subject to community care licensing requirements or is exempt from licensing under Section 1504.5 of the Health and Safety Code.
(a) Each provider shall report to the department regarding the intended outcomes of the program, including all of the following:
  (1) The number of participants served.
  (2) The types of services that were provided to program participants.
  (3) The outcomes for participants, including the number who graduated to independent living, the number who remain in or moved to permanent housing, the number who ceased to participate in the program, and the number who returned to state prison.
  (4) The number of participants who successfully completed parole and transitioned to county mental health programs.
  (b) The department shall prepare an analysis of the costs of the supportive housing program in comparison to the cost savings to the state as a result of reduced recidivism rates by participants using the information provided pursuant to subdivision (a). This analysis shall exclude from consideration any federal funds provided for services while the participant is on parole in order to ensure that the analysis accurately reflects only the costs to the state for the services provided to participants.
  (c) The department shall annually submit, on or before February 1, the information collected pursuant to subdivision (a) and the analysis prepared pursuant to subdivision (b) to the chairs of the Joint Legislative Budget Committee, the Senate Committee on Budget and Fiscal Review, the Assembly Committee on Budget, the Senate and Assembly Committees on Public Safety, the Senate Committee on Transportation and Housing, and the Assembly Committee on Housing and Community Development.