Neighbors Speak Out Against Planned Halfway House

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SACRAMENTO-

It’s a plan area residents aren’t buying, to turn a south Sacramento 16-unit apartment complex into a halfway house for 50 parolees.

“No body knew about this. They tried to sneak this under our nose. There is no reason for a halfway house to be where there are children and schools,” resident Robert Meza said Monday evening.

Behavioral Systems Southwest, Inc. is now in a purchase agreement with the property owner and they argue the neighborhood is a good fit for a rehabilitation program.

“I am going to put a program in where I think a need exists and where the resources are for people reintegrating into the community are,” said Bari Caine-Lomberto with Behavioral Systems Southwest, Inc.

Area homeowners say parolees cant rehabilitate in the high crime neighborhood where old habits are easily relearned.

Behavioral System’s argues most of their programs in southern  California have high success rates in similar neighborhoods.

The company plans to install cameras, a six-foot-high wall and emergency gate to monitor parolees coming and going from the property.

The parolees would also be from the Sacramento area so they can be close to their former homes.

“We have to be responsible and teach our offenders how to survive and how to live in a community that may have more social problems than another,” said Caine-Lomberto.

But with schools closely located to the proposed location neighbors and educators say no way.

The Sacramento Planning Commission decided yesterday to postpone any decisions on the property until February 21st.

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