Parenting Classes For County Jail Inmates To Be Expanded

The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department and the enterprise arm of Cal State San Bernardino will expand the existing parental education program currently available to some inmates within the county’s detention system to inmates within all of the county’s jails, pursuant to approval given by the board of supervisors this week.
Previously, the county was utilizing $354,455 in funding available from the sale of concession items at within the jail system to pay Cal State San Bernardino’s University Enterprise Corporation to provide classes to inmates geared to better their parenting skills upon release from custody. Those classes were available to inmates at the Glen Helen Rehabilitation Center and High Desert Detention Center. This week, the sheriff’s department requested, and the board of supervisors consented, to routing another $47,852 from the sales of items to inmates at the jail commissaries that are put into the inmate welfare fund to make those courses available to the inmates at the West Valley Detention Center in Rancho Cucamonga.
According to a report to the board of supervisors authored by sheriff’s captain Robert O’Brine which accompanied the item relating to the funding increase on this week’s board of supervisors agenda, “The recommended amendment will enable the University Enterprise Corporation to provide additional hours of parental education in order to increase the number of inmates who are served by this program. On June 23, 2015, the board approved an agreement and purchase order with the University Enterprise Corporation to provide parental education programs for both male and female inmates, in the amount of $310,542, for the period of July 1, 2015 through June 30, 2018. The parental intervention program provides parental education, parent/child interactive sessions and child counseling in an effort to reduce the cycle of trauma and incarceration. The program is staffed by student interns and a clinical supervisor. The agreement has been amended twice to adjust the level of service and associated costs, totaling $43,913, increasing the three-year contract amount from $310,542 to $354,455. The proposed amendment increases the hours worked by the lead clinical facilitator from 20 hours per week to 35 hours per week, effective May 1, 2017. This increases the cost of the agreement by $47,852, from $354,455 to $402,307, for the remainder of the contract period ending June 30, 2018.”
According to O’Brine, “The sheriff’s department utilizes the services of local academic institutions to provide a variety of instructional programs to inmates. The department expanded its partnerships to include California State University San Bernardino with the approval of the parental education program by the board of supervisors on December 6, 2011.”
O’Brine told the Sentinel he could not confirm that the program would involve a component in which the inmates would be allowed to interact with their children. -Mark Gutglueck

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