City Opposes Governor's Proposal for Parolee Fire Training
Camarillo, California – At its meeting on Wednesday, March 28, the Camarillo City Council will consider sending a letter to Governor Jerry Brown opposing his plan to create an 18-month in-residency fire training program for up to 80 parolees at the existing Ventura conservation camp at 2800 Wright Road, immediately adjacent to the City’s western border.
“The Governor wants to create a half-way house for parolees, some of whom may have committed burglaries and robberies, within walking distance to some of the most exclusive neighborhoods in Camarillo,” says Mayor Charlotte Craven. “This proposal increases the number of parolees in our City by over 200%. Most if not all of these people are from parts of the state outside of Camarillo. We should not be subjected to taking other people’s parolees – they should be returned to where they came from.”
The proposed training program aims to train parolees over an 18 month period in wildfire firefighting techniques so they can compete for firefighting jobs with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire). The program would begin with 20 parolees in October, 2018, and add 20 parolees every three months until the maximum of 80 parolees is reached. Twenty new parolees would be added every three months as 20 parolees graduate from the program after 18 months of training.
Cal Fire will be in charge of administration, fire training and certification. The parolees will be paid $1,900 per month to participate in the training program and live at the new fire training center. The California Conservation Corps (CCC) will be the employer of record, and the program allows up to 20 CCC members, aged 18 – 25 years old, to also participate in the training course.
The parolees will be subject to curfews and rules of probation, including abstinence from drugs or alcohol (subject to drug testing) which, if violated, will bar them from further participation in the program. Two parole agents will be assigned to monitor and assist the 80 parolees.
“These parolees will be housed next to the Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) high security facility which houses kids in age from 16-23, including 25 girls. This is the only DJJ facility in the State that houses girls under the age of 18, and girls as young as 14 have been incarcerated at this facility. I’m really concerned for the safety of these girls, and for the safety of the young adults, including young women, at the CCC facility next door,” says Craven.
The parolees will be able to move freely throughout the area and many if not all will have their own automobiles
A Community Meeting is scheduled for TUESDAY, April 10, at 7:00 PM in the Camarillo City Council Chambers, 601 Carmen Drive, to inform the public of the Governor’s proposal. Representatives from the Governor’s Office and the various State agencies involved with the proposed program will be in attendance to answer questions. Informational materials will be made available, including materials that the public can use to voice opposition to the Governor and the City’s State Legislators.
“It’s really important that people come out, learn more about the proposal, ask questions of the State representatives involved, and voice their concern.” says Craven. “We all want to feel safe and secure in our community; having the Governor add 80 more parolees to our City is taking us in the wrong direction.”
For additional information, please see the March 28 City Council Agenda Item on this here.