CA Critics Want to Roll Back Prison-Jail Realignment; Brown Concerned


As California legislators stepped up pressure to modify the state’s historic prison realignment – yesterday featuring a crime victim in a wheelchair – Gov. Jerry Brown is taking notice, says the Sacramento Bee. The governor traveled to Stanford Law School this month to confer with researchers about the impact of the law, which shifts responsibility for certain low-level offenders from the state prison and parole system to the counties. Brown told professors and students that he was concerned about the way counties are managing their jail populations. On the most basic questions about realignment, including its impact on crime rates and recidivism, neither the Stanford researchers nor Brown’s own administration can provide meaningful answers. Asked if it was even clear what would make realignment a success or a failure, corrections secretary Jeffrey Beard said, “I don’t think it is. I think that’s part of the problem, is we haven’t defined even [ ] what is the criteria for success.” In the absence of broad evidence about realignment’s impact on public safety, critics of the legislation highlight incidents involving offenders they say would have been incarcerated if not for realignment, and want to roll back the concept.

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