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Contact: Selena Teji, Communications (415) 6215661 x. 123

No significant connection between realignment and crime increase

CJCJ’s interactive map and a new report using 2012 data show 58 radically different Realignment experiences, no statewide pattern emerges

San Francisco, CA:new report examines the impact of Public Safety Realignment and county dependence on state prison in light of California’s 2012 slight crime increase and finds no conclusive trends demonstrating a causal relationship between Realignment and crime.”

  • Nearly all counties had substantial decreases in prison admissions, but crime trends varied erratically, indicating no general correlation between crime and Realignment. Madera County experienced a 24% increase in overall Part I crime rates, while Placer County experienced a 14% decrease. Violent crime trends were also highly variable, with a 46% increase in Kings County to a 26% decline in Humboldt and Napa counties.
  • Los Angeles County presents a special case with a higher than average proportion of realigned individuals, yet continuing declines in crime worthy of further examination to determine if model practices exist for statewide replication.
  • CJCJ found no correlation between high realignment rates and motor vehicle theft. There was also no difference in violent crime rates between high realignment and low realignment counties.
  • Highly state-dependent counties experienced a larger increase in property crime. However, that even neighboring counties show large variances in crime trends, indicates factors other than Realignment are at work.

Additionally, the California Sentencing Institute (CASI) released its 2012 adult data, demonstrating the continuing prevalence of geographical disparities in county sentencing practices. New features for 2012 include more breakdowns by race, gender, and offense.

It is still too early to draw definitive conclusions about the impact, if any, of Realignment on crime. Policymakers should be cautious of adopting statewide policies that modify elements of Realignment based on narrow and anecdotal evidence from just one or a handful of counties. Instead, CJCJ recommends policymakers develop state resources to expand research capacity and leadership on tracking the impact of Realignment.

Read the full report: California’s 58 Crime Rates: Realignment and Crime in 2012

View 2012 California sentencing data by county on the California Sentencing Institute.

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For more information about this topic or to schedule an interview with a CJCJ representative, please contact CJCJ Communications at 4156215661123 or cjcjmedia@​cjcj.​org.