A study of California Gov. Jerry Brown’s 2-year-old prison realignment law recommends major changes that would relieve some of the burden from the state’s counties, the Associated Press reports. Under the law, lower-level offenders are sent to county jails instead of state prisons, sometimes for lengthy sentences. When they’re released, they’re supervised by local probation officers instead of state parole agents.
The study by the Stanford Criminal Justice Center recommends capping county jail sentences at three years and having ex-offenders with serious or violent records supervised by state parole agents, not county probation. The study also says parolees who repeatedly violate terms of their release should go to state prisons and not county jails, where they often are released within days because of overcrowding. The consensus was “this happened too fast, the infrastructure was not ready, and we went too far. We need to pull back a little bit,” said Stanford Law Prof. Joan Petersilia, the center’s co-director.