State Fact Sheet
The Pew-MacArthur Results First Initiative in Fresno County
A 2011 U.S. Supreme Court ruling required California to resolve its overcrowded prison system. In response, Governor Jerry Brown (D) signed into law Assembly Bill 109, establishing a set of policies that are commonly referred to as Realignment. This legislation transferred responsibility for more than 60,000 low-risk inmates from the state to its 58 counties and required them to develop facilities, policies, and programs to serve this population. To help identify the most effective and cost-beneficial adult criminal justice programs, the Pew-MacArthur Results First Initiative partnered with California counties to implement the Results First approach at the local government level.
Fresno County and local criminal justice stakeholders are participating in both state and national initiatives to assist county leaders in the development and implementation of evidence-based practices to guide decision-making processes. In January 2014, the board of supervisors unanimously approved a commitment to work with Results First. The Fresno Results First cost-benefit model can assist the county in directing investments to improve public safety and reduce recidivism without additional spending.
The Results First work is housed in the Fresno County Probation Department. The deputy county administrative officer and a consultant to the department oversee model and program inventory development and also co-lead a technical team of several working groups. Those groups comprise leaders and staff from various criminal justice agencies, including the offices of the county district attorney, sheriff, and public defender; the Department of Behavioral Health; Superior Court; and numerous private service providers. The Fresno team has nearly completed development of its model and anticipates presenting preliminary findings to the Community Corrections Partnership in summer 2016.
The team is finalizing a program inventory to provide a better understanding of its treatment portfolio and to serve as a resource for planning. The county is also augmenting its information technology staff to improve collection of performance data and tracking of outcomes.