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, LA County has embraced the opportunity to reduce its reliance on incarceration, calling for an end to excessive sentencing practices. In 2022, the LA County Public Defender’s Office proposed the Public Defense Pilot Program. This program will develop a global, collaborative approach to resentencing indigent defense clients, supporting the successful reentry of resentenced and released LA County individuals back into their communities.
After recently receiving a substantial funding investment from the State, the Public Defender’s Office is now prepared to design and initiate the new resentencing program in the County. The LA County Public Defender’s Office will partner with FUSE Corps to implement a collaborative approach to resentencing, explicitly improving the resentencing referral and reentry relief services systems. The FUSE Executive Fellow will analyze workflows, recommend process improvements, and build robust communication pathways between teams. The Executive Fellow will also work to collect data and monitor progress on the Public Defense Pilot Program. These efforts will enable the Public Defender’s Office to substantially reduce the number of incarcerated individuals whose cases originated in LA County.