In California it is called realignment and it is causing problems—obvious when you remember that criminals commit crimes and letting them out of prison early will cause more crime now rather than later—as this article from the Criminal Justice Legal Foundation reports.
A poll released Wednesday by the San Francisco based Public Policy Institute of California indicates that the fear of crime has increased among Californians along with their concern about local law enforcement’s ability to protect them from the influx of criminals shifted to counties under the Governor’s Realignment law. According to the poll, 57% share this concern including majorities from Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco. The poll also confirmed that a majority of Californians are concerned about local crime, particularly blacks and Latinos, of whom 64% considered it a problem.
The Sacramento-based Criminal Justice Legal Foundation has been monitoring crime in California since the Governor’s Realignment law (AB109) took effect in October 2011, in order to determine if the promise by its supporters that crime would not increase is being kept. “What this poll shows is that after 18 months under Realignment, Californians do not support the state’s dumping of felons into their communities as the law requires, and that public concern about crime is on the rise, particularly in minority communities.” said CJLF President Michael Rushford.
The Foundation noted that the FBI Uniform Crime Report for 2012 showed increases in all categories of crime in California and particularly property crime, which rose by nearly 7%, while nationally, property crime dropped by 0.9%.
A September 23 report on homicides in Los Angeles by NBC Channel 4 noted that murders in the city are on course to increase for the first time in 8 years. Other California cities have suffered more than Los Angeles. An FBI report on 2012 crime in cities with populations of 100,000 or more found that large California cities suffered a 2.9% increase in violent crime compared to 1.2% nationally. Murders were up 10.5% compared to 1.5% nationally and rape climbed by 6.4% compared to a 0.3% drop nationally.
The news reports of new felonies committed by habitual criminals free on parole, which Realignment defines as “post release community supervision (PRCS),” continue to pile up across the state.