California Police Chief- Fall 2013 - Page 30

Community O u tre ac h & Resources Program In an effort to utilize community policing strategies and address the growing homeless population in the Coachella Valley, Chief Twiss called together representatives from various public and private agencies to discuss the resources available in establishing a homeless court. Members of the committee included representatives from the Indio Police Department Quality of Life Team, Department of Public Social Services, the District Attorney’s Office, the Public Defender’s Office, Conflict Panel, Probation, Judges and Commissioners from the Riverside Superior Court, and the Department of Mental Health. Additional partner providers included Coachella Valley Rescue Mission, ABC Recovery and Martha’s Village and Kitchen. 30 California Police Chief | www.californiapolicechiefs.org Recognizing the stigma of the word homeless and the often negative experiences of the homeless population in the justice system, the program was given the name of Community Outreach and Resources Program (CORP). CORP is designed to reward positive change and assist participants with reentry into society by alleviating financial burdens and eliminating obstacles to future job prospects. There are two ways in which a person can become a participant in CORP. One, they are currently participating in a partner provider program and are referred by their case manager. Two, an Officer with the Indio Police Department Quality of Life Team makes contact in the field, takes the time to explain CORP and the person then agrees to begin participation in one of the partner provider programs. Once the individual is actively participating in a partner program, their case manager submits an application on their behalf to the Public Defender’s Office which is then reviewed for open cases or convicted matters with fines and fees owed. If the individual appears appropriate, their case is referred to the District Attorney’s Office for a background check. At a quarterly meeting, the individual is discussed by all members of the committee. Items of discussion include their social history, participation level at the program, and criminal background. The individual also writes a