AB 1250 will hurt critical public safety reforms

By Mary Butler, Chief Probation Officer, Napa County and Mark Bontrager

AB 1250, which is currently moving through the California Legislature, would have detrimental effects on critical public safety reforms in California.

In short, the bill makes the process excessively onerous for county departments to contract with third parties for services. The goal of the bill is to use county employees to deliver all services at the county level. While this goal may be well-intentioned, it is simply not possible to do this without sacrificing the great public safety work implemented by local governments.

California has undertaken brave and bold steps in our criminal justice system that have created a responsive system with more localized control to better meet public safety needs through an integrated approach of rehabilitation, accountability, and mental health services.

Third-party contracts are vital partnerships in delivering a continuum of evidence-based programming for the youth and adults probation serves. One of the aspects of probation that has made these reforms so successful is our ability to innovate and be responsive to the needs of our clients and a changing criminal justice system.

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