California expands funding for prison tattoo removal program

Pre-release tattoo removal program

San Quentin State Prison will be one of the California facilities where the pre-release tattoo removal program will take place. (Photo: prisoncount.org)

California is spending $6.4 million to expand its pre-release tattoo removal program from two locations to 21 prisons and facilities across the state. The effort will take place over the next four years.

The program began in 2018 at the Folsom Women’s Facility and the Custody to Community Transitional Reentry Program in Sacramento under a contract with the California Prison Industry Authority. The large demand for tattoo removal led to the dramatic increase in funding and programs, which will now be under the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR).

“Highly visible tattoos unfortunately present a significant obstacle to employment, and their removal can also signify a new chapter in someone’s life. We treated about 140 women at CCTRP and FWF with more requesting services beyond what the current contract is able to provide. Hence, the expansion,” says Krissi Khokhobashvili, chief, Office of External Affairs, CDCR.

Program will take place at 21 prisons and facilities

The new sites were chosen based on location – to make sure services are spread throughout the state and be available to all genders and security levels.

The locations where tattoo removal procedures will soon take place: Avenal State Prison, Central California Women’s Facility (Chowchilla), California Health Care Facility (Stockton), California Men’s Colony (San Luis Obispo), California State Prison-Corcoran, Deuel Vocational Institution (Tracy), Folsom State Prison (men’s), Kern Valley State Prison (Delano), Mule Creek State Prison (Ione), North Kern State Prison (Delano), Pleasant Valley State Prison (Coalinga), California State Prison-Sacramento, Substance Abuse Treatment Facility (Corcoran), Sierra Conservation Center (Jamestown), California State Prison-Solano, San Quentin State Prison, Salinas Valley State Prison (Soledad), Valley State Prison (Chowchilla) and Wasco State Prison.

The CDCR has proposed that those eligible for the procedure have highly visible tattoos. They must also be nearing release to the community or have completed gang debriefing (a formal, multi-step gang disassociation process). Based on the number of members of these two groups, the CDCR estimates that as many as 3032 people could receive treatment each fiscal year.

While tattoo removal at the two existing programs is done by a mobile tattoo removal unit, the CDCR has not yet determined how the procedures will be carried out in the additional facilities. A decision will be made once the vendors are selected.

Tattoo removal services to begin January 2020

The competitive bidding process begins this month. The procedure is an invitation for bid rather than a request for proposal. In an RFP, which is usually for new services and programs, bidders propose how they will deliver their services and the price they will charge. An IFB, on the other hand, gives information on the tattoo removal services and how they will be delivered. It then asks bidders to submit what it would cost them to provide those services.

Those who are interested can find out more information and submit a bid through the CaleProcure website. They can also contact  the CDCR’s External Affairs Chief Khokhobashvili, at Kristina.Khokhobashvili@cdcr.ca.gov or 916-324-6508. The actual tattoo removal services will begin in January 2020.

CDCR will evaluate the program during year three of the four-year contract to determine its effectiveness. At that point, the department may request additional funding to continue the program and expand tattoo removal services to California’s remaining adult institutions.

Individuals who start their tattoo removal process on the inside but still require additional treatments for completion once released may be able to find a free or low-cost tattoo removal program by checking out Jails to Jobs’ national directory of these programs.

Jails to Jobs is happy to offer a complimentary copy of our how-to guide for establishing such a program to any organization that plans to create a free or low-cost community-based tattoo removal program. Those interested can contact us to request a copy.

 

CalPIA Case Planning Project created to help prepare inmates for employment

CalPIA Case Planning ProjectMany people consider prison industries a form of slave labor, thanks to the incredibly low wages usually paid. But some prisoners look at it as a way to get out of their cells, feel useful and learn how to work with others.

And If more agencies create programs like the California Prison Industry Authority’s new Case Planning Project, incarcerated individuals may also have an easier time finding employment upon reentry.

The California Prison Industry Authority (CALPIA) develops and operates industrial, agricultural and service enterprises that provide work opportunities for offenders under the jurisdiction of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR).

CalPIA selected 140 participants

To carry out its Case Planning Project, now being operated as a pilot project, CalPIA has randomly selected clients from its current workforce who have a time to serve of nine months to five years.

The 140-member cohort includes groups of about 20 members. Each of these groups has a case plan manager or CPM.

“CPMs administer assessments, use motivational interviewing techniques, and meet face-to-face with clients at least monthly,” says Michele Kane, chief external affairs for CalPIA. “CPMs are present throughout the five CALPIA Enterprise locations. They work directly with CDCR Custody, Education, and Rehabilitative Program staff to support the rehabilitative goals of each client. CPMs will facilitate pre-release planning by working directly with CDCR parole staff.”

The Case Planning Project is being carried out at five facilities:

  • Central California Women’s Facility, Chowchilla
  • California Institution for Women, Corona
  • Folsom State Prison (Men’s Facility)
  • Folsom Women’s Facility
  • San Quentin State Prison
Expected outcomes of the CalPIA Case Planning Project

“CALPIA CPM staff will provide individualized offender-focused case management techniques to reinforce the goals of the offender’s Rehabilitative Case Plan. By focusing on the principles of effective intervention CALPIA will enhance public safety through evidence-based practices, which research has shown to reduce recidivism,” says Kane.

“The CDCR uses the California Logic Model, a detailed, sequential description of how to apply evidence-based principles, practices and effective delivery of a core set of rehabilitation programs. Research shows that to achieve positive outcomes, correctional agencies must provide rehabilitative programs to the right offenders, at the right time, and in a manner consistent with evidence-based programming design. The model identifies eight steps in adult offender rehabilitation. CALPIA’s integrated case-planning process includes a stronger emphasis on the offender’s ownership, acceptance, and likely completion of rehabilitation goals.

The program uses a variety of resources to carry out its mission. We were pleased to learn they selected our book, Jails to Jobs: Seven Steps to Becoming Employed, which will be given to participants who will use it as they are preparing to be released and also upon release to help them in their job search reentry.

The CALPIA Case Planning Project will continue until June 30, 2019. If it is successful, it will provide the model for an expanded program throughout CDCR.