No link between California’s Prison Realignment and increased crime, study says

Beatriz Valenzuela (Press-Telegram) | January 30, 2014

Despite being blamed by some members of law enforcement for a recent uptick in crime in some counties, there is no connection between California’s Prison Realignment and increased criminal activity, according to a report released Wednesday.

The Center of Juvenile and Criminal Justice report found little evidence of there being more crime due to realignment based on random crime trends in counties since the implementation of the law.

For example, Los Angeles County, which has one of the highest percentage of realigned offenders, has continued to see a steady drop in total crime, including an 11 percent decrease in violent crime.

This lack of a clear pattern of crime shows it’s still too soon to draw any conclusion when it comes to the relationship between realignment and crime, according to a Center of Juvenile and Criminal Justice news release.

“We are pleased that CJCJ took an impartial look at the data and found no causal relationship between crime and realignment…,” said Jeffrey Callison, spokesman for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

Callison said crime rates are continually rising and falling, and they vary from one community to the next, and from one crime category to the next.

California was ordered to reduce the state prison population to about 110,000, or 137.5 percent of prison capacity, as a way to improve the quality of inmates’ health. To accomplish that, Assembly Bill 109, the state’s prison realignment law, shifted the responsibility of monitoring lower-level inmates from the state to the counties.

Under AB 109, those convicted of a triple-non offense — nonviolent, nonserious, nonsexual — would be eligible to be supervised by county probation departments or serve their sentences in county jail. AB 109 was implemented Oct. 1, 2011, as a way for the state to comply with a federal three-judge panel’s order to decrease the population of California’s prisons. The panel found the overcrowded conditions in state prisons led to inadequate medical attention for inmates.

However, high-ranking law enforcement officials from across the state have talked about the dangers of prison realignment.

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2 Comments for “No link between California’s Prison Realignment and increased crime, study says”

  1. surenos

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  2. surenos

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