The TJC Sites: Fresno County, California

The Fresno County Sheriff's Office, the Fresno County Probation Department, the Fresno Superior Court, and their justice and community partners are part of the Transition from Jail to Community Initiative (TJC). Fresno County has begun reversing criminal recidivism and is developing community services that connect to a continuum of jail services and programs designed to enhance successful integration.

Spanning 6,000 square miles and with a population of nearly one million, Fresno County is the sixth-largest county in California. It is located in the middle of the heavily agricultural San Joaquin Valley. There are 15 incorporated cities in Fresno County; 14 have their own municipal police, and one contracts for policing with the sheriff, who polices all the unincorporated areas of the county. The Fresno County Sheriff's Office Jail Division operates three detention facilities in downtown Fresno. These facilities house pretrial and sentenced inmates as well as federal inmates pursuant to a contract with the US Marshal's Office. The current operational bed capacity is 2,859 beds, with another 619 beds available whenever county funding is sufficient. When fully operational, the Fresno jail system provides 3,478 beds, or 1,269,470 inmate bed-days. The Fresno County Jail is a large jail system, with over 40,000 bookings in 2011.

The Sheriff's Office recognizes the need for stabilization and transition programs for inmates within the jail system and has instituted several programs including religious services; Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous meetings, 12-step programs, and Celebrate Recovery; a GED program; ESL to help Spanish inmates learn English; and relationship-building and parenting education programs. 

Under California's recently-passed Public Safety Realignment legislation, Fresno now houses parole revocations and people who would have formerly been sent to the prison system but are now being given jail sentences instead. The Sheriff's Office must also comply with the 1994 Federal Consent Decree, which limits the capacities within each of the three facilities. With the assistance of the National Institute of Corrections and the Urban Institute through TJC, the goals of successful transition from custody to community, community reintegration, and public safety will be achieved.

For further information, contact Captain Neil Dadian at neil.dadian@fresnosheriff.org.