The latest version is called Realignment, moving prisoners from state prisons to county jails for rehabilitation, and as the Criminal Justice Legal Foundation reports, it isn’t going too well.
Rehabilitation programs have historically not done well at all, as our reentry evaluation post chronicles.
An excerpt from the Criminal Justice Legal Foundation’s Press Release about Realignment.
“California Governor Jerry Brown’s Realignment plan was promoted as good for public safety because instead of cycling in and out of state prisons, thousands of criminals would receive rehabilitative services locally. But since Realignment took effect last October, law enforcement officials are reporting that offenders are now cycling in and out of county jails that don’t have the capacity to hold them, and many counties lack the funds and resources to even supervise offenders they are now responsible for under the new law. Criminals released early from jail, probation, and parole are also not getting access to services, and those who continue to commit crimes are receiving minimal punishment. As a result, counties across California are reporting increased crime.
“In Fresno County, KMPH Fox 26 on June 13 quoted Chief Jerry Dyer, “We did not have the local jail capacity at the lower level to house these individuals that were shifted to local communities. And we did not have the ability to supervise them, to provide them the treatment that they need. And they’re out there involved in criminal activity.” KCOY reported May 17 that a San Luis Obispo Grand Jury’s Annual Jail Inspection report found Realignment is contributing to an already overcrowded situation at the county’s jail. The report said the overcrowding is causing a reduction in inmate services.
“On June 5, Recordnet.com reported that, regarding jail overcrowding, San Joaquin County Sheriff Steve Moore said, “not having enough space removes the threat of incarceration that keeps offenders in programs,” he added. Moore also said that local police departments are concerned because, before Realignment, parole violators would serve 90 days in state prison, but now “they’re seeing them back after two or three weeks.”
“Under Realignment, parolees are now eligible to be discharged from supervision after only six months, whereas previously they remained supervised for at least a year. The Los Angeles Times reported June 8 that about 8,500 parolees were taken off supervision in April, compared to about 1,300 in March. If released from prison in October, the month Realignment went into effect, April would have been the first month those parolees were eligible for review under the new law. “We will no longer have the ability to violate their parole based on criminal behavior but rather we will have to arrest and prosecute them on a new charge, which is resource-intensive and time-consuming,” said Long Beach Police Chief Jim McDonnell.
“In Stanislaus County, The Modesto Bee reported June 4 that in the first three months of 2012, felony filings increased nine percent.
“On June 13, KMPH Fox 26 reported that the city of Fresno had 36 shootings and eight murders in the previous 28 days. The city’s average for the same period is 21 shootings and two murders. Chief Jerry Dyer said three offenders, placed on post-release community supervision after being designated as non-violent, non-serious, and non-sexual offenders, had committed murder inFresno in the last two months.”