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News items related to AB 109

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Beyond Realignment: Counties’ large disparities in imprisonment underlie ongoing prison crisis

California’s crises of prison overcrowding, unsustainable costs, and court-ordered population reductions are perpetuated by the disparate implementation of Realignment.

Officials find no easy conclusions in prison realignment review

Nearly 18 months after the state's prison realignment law took effect, Merced officials agree the jury is still out on whether it meets its intended goals.

Realignment's effect should be revealed

Gov. Jerry Brown's "realignment" of the state's penal system is a year old and he claims it's been so successful in reducing prison overcrowding that federal judges should butt out, even though it hasn't reached the mandated level of 137.5% of prison design capacity.

California’s Urban Crime Increase in 2012: Is “Realignment” to Blame?

This publication analyzes whether Realignment — in this case, the 46,000 offenders diverted to local management — contributed to increase in urban offenses in the first half of 2012.

Groups disagree if California crime rise related to prison plan

Public policy groups are seizing on new statistics from the FBI to claim California's prison realignment plan is causing "significant increases" in crime, even as others say the numbers show no connection at all.

A Prosecutor's Innovative Response to Realignment
Over one year into Realignment, local justice stakeholders across the state remain challenged by the responsibility of serving an increased number of offenders.  Some jurisdictions approach this new era as an opportunity for innovation and creativity, whereas others view it as the state skirting its responsibility.  San Francisco, in keeping with its history of self-reliance, approached Realignment as a chance to implement community-based practices that support rehabilitation while achieving…
One Year into Realignment: Progress Stalls, Stronger Incentives Needed
One Year into Realignment: Progress Stalls, Stronger Incentives Needed
Federal health care reform and incarcerated populations
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) , the health reform law passed by the Obama administration and Congress in 2010, will have vast implications for the provision of health services to incarcerated individuals, including expanded access to mental health and substance abuse treatment.  An underappreciated impact of California's AB 109 adult corrections realignment is that county jails are now the primary providers of medical care for long-term realigned inmates.   The Community…
California's adult corrections realignment: Just a change of address?
Several weeks ago, I represented CJCJ at the Second Annual Conference on Public Safety Realignment .  The conference was sponsored by the Joint Training Partnership of the California State Association of Counties (CSAC), California State Sheriffs' Association (CSSA) and Chief Probation Officers of California (CPOC). Over 600 law enforcement stakeholders were in attendance, representing Community Corrections Partnerships from the majority of the counties across California.   Staff from the…
Contra Costa community leaders halt new jail construction
Last week, religious leaders and community members from Contra Costa County convinced county Sheriff David Livingston to withdraw his proposal for constructing a new 150-bed jail.   Working in partnership with the local PICO California affiliate, CCISCO , these grassroots leaders were able to convince law enforcement stakeholders that the $6 million required for a new jail would be better spent on alternatives.  A community advisory board recommended redirecting realignment funding into…
San Francisco leading the way to sentencing reform
In the face of historic opposition to a statewide sentencing commission, San Francisco County established a local sentencing commission January 2012 to address the county's sentencing policies and practices. Twenty-two states across the U.S. have established sentencing commissions to assist in the development and administration of a fair justice system.  Policy makers require strong data-analysis to inform the previous and future decisions centered on sentencing policies and practices.  Data…
Media coverage focuses on sentencing disparities
Media outlets across the state are posing hard questions about county sentencing practices.  CJCJ's recently launched the California Sentencing Institute , an interactive map that highlights the disparities in sentencing across California's 58 counties.  The map allows researchers, legislators, and the general public to examine the cost to taxpayers for each county's incarceration rate, as well as correlations to ethnicity and county poverty levels. A recent KQED News investigation using the…
Cross-sector collaborations demonstrate impressive results
Counties across the state are facing unprecedented new challenges in their adult and juvenile criminal justice systems.  Pressures are increasing on local systems due to adult corrections realignment under Assembly Bill 109 and unprecedented drops in federal funding for rehabilitation of juvenile offenders.   California counties are responding to these challenges with a wide variety of responses.  While county responses vary, one factor remains constant throughout the state: The…
UPDATE: Nine Months into Realignment: California's Prisoner Decline Continues
UPDATE: Nine Months into Realignment: California's Prisoner Decline Continues
The new BSCC: Real opportunity for reform?
In this era of Realignment, California has an opportunity to redefine the state's role in community corrections by highlighting the need for oversight and accountability.  Last week, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) released a list of recommendations from the Executive Steering Committee for the new Board of State and Community Corrections (BSCC).  The Implementation Recommendations document outlines five goals that the BSCC should prioritize immediate when…
A road map for adult realignment
Adult realignment, the shift of lower-level felony offenders to local supervision under AB 109, continues to pose a challenge to many counties as they struggle with how to serve this expanded population of offenders at the local level.  Recent reports indicate many of the large counties have responded through initiating a planning process to construct new jail bed space rather than shifting current practices.  A few counties have found this increased offender population manageable by…
UPDATE: Eight Months into Realignment: Dramatic Reductions in California's prisoners
UPDATE: Eight Months into Realignment: Dramatic Reductions in California's prisoners
Eight Months into Realignment: Dramatic Reductions in California's prisoners
Eight Months into Realignment: Dramatic Reductions in California's prisoners
An analysis of San Mateo proposal for jail construction
A recent ACLU report found that that 24 of the 25 largest California counties plan on using realigned state funding to pay for dramatic expansions of jail beds.   CJCJ's Brian Heller de Leon reviewed the report in his blog, Adult realignment and the county jail building boom . The ACLU report notes, "Counties that have chosen a path of jail expansion - as many of the Big 25 county realignment plans indicate they have - are trying to solve the wrong problem.  They seek to absorb the realigned…
Adult realignment provides counties with opportunities for innovation
Data from the Corrections Standards Authority shows that 71% of jail space in California counties is filled by individuals who are unsentenced.  For the simple reason of not being able to afford a bail amount that varies widely from county to county for the same sentence, these individuals are separated from their communities, families, receive no rehabilitative programming, taking up jail beds that should be used for offenders determined to be a risk to their community, all at the costs of…
Adult realignment and the county jail building boom
Last month, the American Civil Liberties Union released an insightful, comprehensive report on county plans for a massive jail expansion using funding allocated through Assembly Bill 109 and Assembly Bill 900.   AB 109 is the adult realignment bill that shifted responsibility for supervising low-level offenders (non-non-non's) from the state to the county level along with $367 million for first-year implementation.  Adult realignment in California comes at time when public opinion is shifting…
Pew Study: strong majority of voters favor alternatives to incarceration
A new Pew research poll released last week shows that voters across the U.S. are overwhelmingly in favor of reducing prison spending and support shifting resources to community supervision rather than incarceration, specifically for low-level offenders.  The national poll also shows that voters prioritize reductions in recidivism as the primary "end goal" of corrections, even if it means offenders spend less time behind bars and more time in rehabilitative programming.   Public…
Alameda County realignment plan 'ambitious' but moving in the right direction
Alameda County realignment plan 'ambitious' but moving in the right direction Oakland Tribune, December 11, 2011
Counties dilemma: how to use funds for inmates
Counties dilemma: how to use funds for inmates San Francisco Chronicle, December 5, 2011
AB 109: Criminal Justice Realignment & Reform (handout)
AB 109: Criminal Justice Realignment & Reform (handout)

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