California – Alameda Probation Chief sees opportunity in prison reform

By Callie Shanafelt, HealthyCal.org – August 30, 2011 When David Muhammad became the Chief Probation Officer for Alameda County six months ago, he had big ideas about how to change the system for the better. “Departments around the country have been good at messing with people and not so good at helping people,” Muhammad said. That’s something he wants to change in Alameda County, especially when it comes to getting low-level offenders integrated into the community after they are released, instead of seeing them land back in prison. Muhammad got his opportunity to oversee a big shift in corrections almost as soon as he arrived in Alameda County. His appointment as Chief Probation Officer coincided neatly with what many are calling California’s largest prison reform in decades. The change transfers responsibility for low-level offenders to the county, with probation departments playing a key role in the transition as well as the ongoing management of non-violent offenders. The Public Safety Realignment Act (Assembly Bill 109), signed into law on April 4, 2011 is a key piece of…[For full story: http://www.healthycal.org/archives/5559

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California – Alameda Probation Chief sees opportunity in prison reform