SAN DIEGO–County Supervisor Greg Cox today joined with Sheriff Bill Gore and District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis in an effort to help probationers and recently released offenders reintegrate into their communities.

The three officials asked County staff to work with state agencies to provide California photo identification cards to probationers and post-release offenders. People who lack proper photo ID cards are often prevented from getting health care and other services they need to make a successful return to their communities.

“We need to make sure that when the State gives offenders a ‘get out of jail’ card, we can give them a ‘stay out of jail’ card so they can become productive members of society,” said Supervisor Cox.

A recent SANDAG survey reported that nearly 20 percent of male and 40 percent of female arrestees lack government issued photo identification cards. Providing probationers and ex-offenders with this crucial resource could prevent these individuals from winding up back in jail by allowing them to access basic services like employment, housing and medical coverage programs. Government-issued photo ID cards help ex-offenders and assist law enforcement as well. They ultimately make communities safer and save taxpayer dollars.

Cox, Gore and Dumanis asked the Board of Supervisors to study actions needed to provide ID cards to offenders, including figuring out how to deal with challenges in establishing a permanent address in order to mail them the cards. They also asked the Board to approve staff working with the California State Association of Counties, the state Department of Motor Vehicles and other agencies to develop the cards. The Board of Supervisors approved the recommendations unanimously.