The Orange County Criminal Justice Resource Department (CJRD) has received a $20,000 grant from Cardinal Innovations to support local efforts that improve the health, wellness and stability of Orange County residents exiting jails and prisons during the COVID-19 pandemic.
As jails and prisons present a high risk of infection for staff and for people in detention, local and state advocates and officials have been working to safely reduce the number of vulnerable individuals in these institutions. Orange County CJRD and the Local Reentry Council (LRC) were already assisting returning individuals with case management and funding resources, however the needs at this time are greater than available funding.
“The social and economic impacts of this crisis are significant for everyone, but for individuals re-entering our county from incarceration, the barriers to stability now are even more overwhelming,” said Caitlin Fenhagen, Orange County Criminal Justice Resource Department Director. “This generous grant from Cardinal Innovations will enable the CJRD and LRC to provide emergency housing funds and supplies for these individuals, many of whom have behavioral health and medical concerns. This support and case management will provide our residents in need with help in the re-entry process and will make our community safer and more welcoming during a very difficult time.”
“Supporting people as they transition back into our communities following incarceration should be a priority for all of us—especially during these challenging times,” said Cardinal Innovations CEO Trey Sutten. “We are pleased to support the efforts of the Orange County Criminal Justice Resource Department as they help these individuals make a fresh start.”
Judicial and law enforcement officials, in collaboration with the CJRD, have reduced the pretrial population in the Orange County Detention Center by almost 50 percent through increased use of Pretrial Services supervision and other diversion measures where appropriate.
Information about eligibility and the process of referral for these funds will be distributed by the CJRD to interested stakeholders.