The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) is responsible for the incarceration of nearly 100,000 adults, operating the second largest prison system in the United States. Los Angeles County (LA County) is the largest contributor to the carceral system in California – with nearly 30% of all adults admitted to CDCR coming from the County. In recent years, Californians and their elected representatives have expressed their desire to reduce reliance on incarceration, calling for an end to excessive sentencing practices. LA County embraces this opportunity, proposing the Public Defense Pilot Program aimed at taking critical steps to create an effective and scalable model that provides indigent defense services in resentencing matters, addressing operational processes and workload associated with current resentencing initiatives to increase the number of individuals returning home, reuniting families and repairing communities.
After recently receiving a substantial funding investment from the State, the Los Angeles County Bar Association (IDP) is now prepared to design and initiate this specialized resentencing unit within its agency. IDP will partner with FUSE Corps to implement the Public Defense Pilot Program, designing a collaborative approach to resentencing and case management. The FUSE Executive Fellow will analyze workflows, recommend process improvements, and build out a robust, sustainable oversight system for the program within the funding provided by the State Public Defense Pilot Program grant. The Executive Fellow will also work on developing and implementing data collection and reporting systems to allow IDP to understand and externally report the program’s progress. These efforts will enable IDP to more effectively and efficiently provide high-quality representation to individual eligible for resentencing under current reforms, with the goal of substantially reducing the number of incarcerated individuals whose cases originated in LA County.