In response to the implementation of Public Safety Realignment Act (AB109) in 2011, the Kern County Sheriff’s Office redirected its focus from delivering standard programming to utilizing data-driven evidence based curriculum. These programs focus on criminogenic behaviors and promote best practices that aid in the reduction of recidivism. The Population Management, Programs Unit offers an array of services to its incarcerated population. The Programs Unit offers educational, as well as vocational classes in partnership with a multitude of community based organizations to ensure that quality services are being rendered. Some of the organizations that assist with these services are Kern County Behavioral Health and Recovery Services (BHRS), Garden Pathways, and Bakersfield Adult School. These organizations, along with others, assist the Programs Unit in assisting participants with breaking down their barriers to success.
Evidence Based Programs
Evidence-based programs (EBP) are programs that are proven to be effective in reducing recidivism when delivered with complete fidelity. EBP’s have had success in creating a positive impact by creating prosocial behaviors.
Currently, Kern offers the following Evidence Based classes:
- Seeking Safety
- In conjunction with Kern BHRS, the Sheriff’s Office offers this evidence-based, cognitive behavioral therapy group. Seeking Safety is a ten-week processing group, for individuals to facilitate their insight/learning into the relationship between trauma and substance abuse. Seeking Safety is run by a therapist and co-facilitator. It begins and ends every session with a “check-in” to assess current state of feelings and assess for use of positive coping skills (from list of 80 plus skills reviewed each session), unsafe choices over the last week, as well as identifying a self-commitment to improve.
- Veterans Program
- The Incarcerated Veterans’ Program began in May 2014. The program is offered to select inmates who are identified at booking as United States Military Veterans. Staff works with local agencies to verify inmate service in the military. Once service has been verified, military documents are ordered for the veteran's condition of discharge, military occupational specialty, and military education. The veterans are provided with additional information of benefits available to them throughout the community. Social workers with the Veterans Outreach Justice Program visit the facility weekly to assist in counseling and other means of assistance. They meet with the veterans to assist with the courts in placing veterans into available veterans residential housing on a case-by-case basis.
- Residential Substance Abuse Treatment (RSAT)
- The RSAT program is a grant funded program using Matrix curriculum. RSAT is facilitated by a 100-day treatment program. It includes substance abuse treatment disorder education, case management, employment preparation with the objective of changing criminal thinking and reducing recidivism. RSAT incorporates an in-custody treatment component with multiple evidence based curriculums, a reintegration plan, and aftercare services which include housing and community based treatment. The goals and objectives of the RSAT program directly align with the Sheriff’s goals in reducing recidivism and connecting released inmates with the available social services in the community.
- Matrix Program
- The Matrix Model is an evidence-based intensive drug treatment program which teaches inmates about their addiction and helps them identify and examine ways to cope with high-risk situations that lead to relapse. The goal is to create a setting for learning new skills to manage recovery. Inmates attend alternating individual and group sessions as the inmate moves through the stages of recovery.
- Moral Reconation Therapy (MRT)
- MRT is an evidence-based, cognitive behavioral treatment strategy designed specifically for offender populations. The purpose of MRT is to instill and develop higher levels of moral reasoning in inmates, which leads to moral thinking and behavior. Essentially, MRT teaches the offender to view his actions in relation to society, rather than his own immediate impulses and desires. Offenders learn to abandon their hedonistic, self-centric worldview to become pro-social thinkers and doers – in other words, to become productive, contributing members of society. Over a 20 year span, multiple studies have found that MRT graduates experience a recidivism reduction rate of 25% - 75%, depending on the age and type of offender.
- Thinking for a change (T4C)
- In 1998, the National Institute of Corrections produced the first version of Thinking for a Change (T4C). This program combined cognitive restructuring theory with cognitive skills theory to create an innovative and integrated curriculum designed to help individuals in the juvenile and adult justice systems take control of their lives by taking control of their thinking. Since its inception, Thinking for a Change has gone through a number of revisions. T4C has been the subject of many studies and has routinely proven to be effective in reducing recidivism when implemented with integrity.
- Aggression Replacement Therapy (ART)
- Aggression Replacement Training (ART) is a multi-component cognitive-behavioral treatment to promote pro-social behavior by addressing factors that contribute to aggression, including limited interpersonal social and coping skills, impulsiveness, over-reliance on aggression to meet daily needs, and egocentric and concrete values. Aggression Replacement Training has consistently shown positive outcomes across a number of quasi-experimental studies including; reducing criminal behavior, decreased problem behaviors, increasing pro-social behaviors and improved anger control.
In addition these Vocational and Educational Classes are also offered
- Parents on a Mission (POM)
- Anger Management
- Domestic Violence Intervention Program
- Substance Abuse Program
- Auto Body
- Food Service/ServSafe Certification
- Life Skills
- Inmate Community Work Crew (Partnership with CalTrans and Kern Council of Governments)
Governor Jerry Brown visited the Sheriff’s Lerdo Facility in January of 2014