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A new study shows health disparities cost Texas billions of dollars; Senate rejects impeachment articles against Mayorkas, ending trial against Cabinet secretary; Iowa cuts historical rural school groups.

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The Senate dismisses the Mayorkas impeachment. Maryland Lawmakers fail to increase voting access. Texas Democrats call for better Black maternal health. And polling confirms strong support for access to reproductive care, including abortion.

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Rural Wyoming needs more vocational teachers to sustain its workforce pipeline, Ohio environmental advocates fear harm from a proposal to open 40-thousand forest acres to fracking and rural communities build bike trail systems to promote nature, boost the economy.

New CA data: Social programs reduce crime

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Tuesday, February 27, 2024   

Programs intended to reduce the chances that someone will end up back behind bars are working, according to a new analysis of California state data.

A new report finds that people who participated in a social program funded by Proposition 47 had a recidivism rate of 15.3% compared with 35% to 45% for people traditionally incarcerated by the Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections.

Linda Penner, chairperson of the California Board of State and Community Corrections, which produced the report, is supportive.

"These results indicate that Prop 47 is delivering the results voters wanted: safer communities where individuals who commit low-level crimes are directed to housing, employment, mental-health and substance-use services instead of prison," she said.

Proposition 47 raised the threshold for a theft to qualify as a felony, which lowered the number of people getting jail time. It has saved the state $800 million in incarceration costs since it passed in 2014 - money that was reinvested in social programs that help justice-involved people get back on their feet.

Saun Hough, vocational services administrator SHIELDS For Families Inc., a nonprofit social services organization in South Central Los Angeles, applauds the focus on crime prevention.

"When you are able to address those issues, you're attacking some of the root causes of crime, and you keep people from feeling like they have no other choice but to go back to crime or to commit crime, but you really help to address the issues that lead them to make those decisions in the beginning," Hough explained.

The analysis also found that 60% of people experiencing homelessness who make it through the program end up finding a stable place to live.


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