Office of Re Entry Services, Santa Clara County
Mission: The Office of Reentry Services (ORS) is a department within the Santa Clara County Executive Office. Through collaboration with our local law enforcement agencies and both County and non-County service providers we help empower Santa Clara County residents exiting incarceration to create healthy, happy and productive lives. In order to decrease the number of individuals incarcerated and under probation and parole supervision, the County of Santa Clara is focusing on developing a comprehensive effort that addresses the needs and risks of former offenders. In an effort to reduce the number of offenders incarcerated in the California prison system and assist in alleviating the State's financial crisis, AB 109 was signed into law on April 4, 2011. Subsequently, on June 30, 2011, AB 117 was signed by Governor Brown, further outlining the provisions of Realignment. This Act shifts the responsibility for inmates convicted of non-serious, non-violent, non-sex offenses to local jurisdictions by requiring them to serve their sentence in local jails rather than in State prisons, pursuant to the newly added Penal Code §1170(h). All inmates serving local sentences will now come under the post-release supervision of local agencies, Post Release Community Supervision (PRCS) offenders. Additionally, this legislation changes the sentencing laws to keep these offenders from being committed to State prisons.
Activities: ORS has 2 Reentry Resource Centers located in downtown San Jose and in Gilroy. ORS staff and our partners serve clients who have been released from incarceration in the past twelve months and/or are under AB 109 probation. The agency Reentry Resource Centers offer an array of services to our clients including, but not limited to: employment, case management, Faith Based services, medical, behavioral health services, legal services, food resources, hygiene kits, bus tokens for appointments, housing assessments for county housing providers, and behavioral health assessments and referrals to providers. A medical mobile bus comes weekly to site. The agency also provides weekly sessions on job skills such as resume-building and interviewing. Since its founding in 2012, the County of Santa Clara Reentry Resource Center in San Jose has created opportunities for more than 10,000 residents reentering the community from jail or prison. As the Gilroy office is new, services will grow and change as the program develops here.
Needs this semester: This agency will take only a small number of committed students. Students who are interested in working with this population could help by:
- compiling information binders on various resources available in South County to clients, checking existing information and updating as needed by phone and by using the Internet
- planning workshops on topics of interest, including applying to Gavilan College, financial aid at Gavilan College, EOPS, TRIO, and other student-support programs at Gavilan, Gavilan tour, and more. Students with special skills of interest might also be asked to contribute workshops on these skills and/or table with information of interest on Tuesdays and Thursdays when clients come for medical and behavioral services.
- carry out a needs assessment in the community to learn what additional services clients could use
- publicize the program in the community and at special events, and encourage new clients to explore its services
- participating in grant-funded Pro Social events with partner agencies to help clients reenter social situations in a positive and dignified way, and/or attend or plan field trips for clients as part of this program.
The Gilroy RRC is open on Mondays and Wednesdays from 1pm-5pm, Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8am-5pm and closed on Fridays. Students wishing to work with clients should schedule with the site supervisor to visit on T/Th if possible, as more clients are served those days than on other days.
Students in the Gavilan Research Methodologies class may contribute by helping design and carry out a client survey that aids the agency in its responsiveness and program planning.
Who should apply: Most important qualification will be an ability to treat clients with dignity and respect, as this vulnerable population often struggles with multiple challenges and issues. Thus, students must be interested in and comfortable with this population. Spanish-speaking students especially needed but all interested students will be considered. Students should dress business casual and avoid clothing that is tight, immodest, or that could be interpreted as gang-supportive. Students should avoid drug-related clothing or jewelry and must not engage in business activities of any kind with clients. Socializing outside the student’s service hours is also prohibited.
Who should not apply: Students with criminal backgrounds will be evaluated on a case by case basis taking into account charges and current situation. Students uncomfortable with this population should probably choose another agency. Students with active and untreated substance abuse issues will be asked to seek another placement.
Special notes: Website for this site : https://www.sccgov.org/sites/reentry/Pages/Reentry-Services.aspx. Employees at the OFFICE OF RE-ENTRY SERVICES are very dedicated, caring and occupied in providing valuable services. Please respect staff time by calling and making appointments, arriving on time, asking for help when you need it, and keeping any discussion brief and concise. Please call ahead if you are not able to make your appointment or have an emergency which prevents you from arriving on time.
Orientation date: Tuesday 18 February at 1:30 at 8425 Murray Avenue, Gilroy
Contact: Victor Muniz 408 201 0690, firstname.lastname@example.org
Site address: 8425 Murray Avenue, Gilroy