In California it’s called realignment, and, according to this latest Press Release from the Criminal Justice Legal Foundation, an organization tracking the implementation, it is a failure.
“As he signed AB 109 into law last year, California Governor Jerry Brown said, “For too long, the state’s prison system has been a revolving door for lower-level offenders and parole violators who are released within months—often before they are even transferred out of a reception center. Cycling these offenders through state prisons wastes money, aggravates crowded conditions, thwarts rehabilitation, and impedes local law enforcement supervision.” In fact, this statement is now an accurate description of the situation counties across the state find themselves in.
“The Governor’s so called “Public Safety Realignment” law, which took effect last October, has created a revolving door in county jails for criminals, many of whom have extensive records which include serious crimes. The new law has forced local jails to release thousands of criminals early due to overcrowded conditions caused by the influx of inmates who previously would have been serving sentences in state prison or on state supervised parole. Many counties do not have the funds to implement rehabilitation programs or properly supervise criminals because the state has only provided temporary funding based on its own estimates, which many counties are reporting were too low.
“On July 3, the Orange County Register reported that the Sheriff’s Department had received twice as many inmates as expected in the jails just four months into Realignment. Probation officials said they have so far seen 58 percent more probationers than expected.
“The Monterey County Herald reported on June 16 that the overcrowding in the county’s jail has left little space for classrooms, making it difficult for the county to provide re-entry programs.
“A June 28 story in the Redding Record Searchlight reports that according to the Shasta County grand jury, “Most arrestees are being released almost immediately from custody resulting in a revolving door for repeat offenders.”
“The Napa Valley Register reported on June 24 that the Napa County grand jury characterized Realignment as a “get out of jail free card.”