Warning that it could trigger a spike in crime, Los Angeles County Chief Probation Officer Jerry Powers said about 15,000 inmates diverted from state prisons to Los Angeles county jails under the state's public safety realignment have served their sentences and returned to the community without having to report to a probation officer, undergo rehab, see a psychiatrist or seek other essential services, reports the Los Angeles Daily News.
“Essentially, they're going to be without any sort of obligation to engage in any sort of rehabilitation, and there's no way for law enforcement to ensure that they're remaining law abiding through searches or compliance checks,” Powers said yesterday. “Fifteen thousand is an alarmingly high number — I'm very concerned about it.” California implemented realignment in October 2011 to fulfill a U.S. Supreme Court mandate to reduce overcrowding in state prisons. It handed over to counties the responsibility of jailing and supervising the probation of criminals whose last offense was non-serious, non-violent and non-sexual. Since then, L.A. County has overseen the probation of 20,000 criminals who otherwise would have been monitored by armed parole agents and jailed 16,000 criminals originally destined for state prison.