County Considers Expanding Drug Treatment Programs

Santa Clara County needs more drug rehab housing for convicts slated for release under the state’s 2011 prison reform measure. In September, a Superior Court judge told the county it has to expand residential treatment centers to accommodate defendants released under AB 109, a law that orders counties to free non-violent and non-sexual offenders to ease prison overcrowding.

On Tuesday, the county Board of Supervisors will consider allocating $526,000 of AB 109 funds to the Department of Drug and Alcohol Services to pay for up to 130 more treatment beds by the end of next month.

“The department determined that the current residential capacity was not adequate to meet the needs of the criminal justice system,” reads a memo going before the Board.

Offering more inpatient drug treatment would reduce the jail population and improve outcomes for defendants, the memo continues.

Outcomes for residential treatment are consistently better than for outpatient services. Of the 171 patients released from county-contracted residential rehab this year, 70 percent completed treatment and 18 percent left with satisfactory progress. For outpatient clients, 39 percent left with satisfactory progress while fewer completed treatment.

Interestingly, it takes more time for someone in jail to get into residential rehab (25-day waitlist) than someone off the streets (16 days).

More from the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors agenda for November 26, 2013:

Vaccinations will cost the county $4.1 million through 2017.

• Skydivers may soon have a landing point at the South County Airport. Supervisors will consider issuing permits for skydiving operators at the airport. The Federal Aviation Administration was holding up grant money until the county agreed to allow skydiving.

• The South Santa Clara County Fire District gets a new fire chief: Derek J. Witmer.

Plans for the Civic Center development near downtown San Jose move forward with supervisors discussing the terms of the country’s contract with Lowe Enterprises and M. Arthur Gensler Jr. and Associates.

• The Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Silicon Valley gets $225,000 from the county for business advising, licensing help, workshops and other services to support small business.

WHAT: Board of Supervisors meets
WHEN: 9am Tuesday
WHERE: County Government Center, 70 W. Hedding St., San Jose
INFO: Lynn Regadanz, [email protected]

Jennifer Wadsworth is the former news editor for San Jose Inside and Metro Silicon Valley. Follow her on Twitter at @jennwadsworth.

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