One Year Later - Realignment Has Failed Our Communities
October 1st marks the one-year anniversary of the implementation of Governor Brown's public safety realignment plan. I believe it is a tragic milestone, given the numerous crimes committed by the early release of criminals as documented in several media reports.
The Governor may claim otherwise, but public safety realignment has made California less secure. His plan will ultimately shift 33,000-50,000 felons from state to local custody and 64,000 parolee felons to local probation departments, instead of the state parole department.
Given that many local jails are overcrowded and face budget problems of their own, such a shift has inevitably led to the early release of dangerous criminals such as Aaron Suggs, 29 of Sacramento. Just after his release, Suggs was rearrested on suspicion of sexually assaulting a woman during a burglary. According to Sacramento Police, Suggs was on probation and had been recently released from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation as part of the Post-Release Offender Program and sent to Sacramento County to serve probation, but failed to show up. Being moved from state to local departments will cause a decrease in the control of parolees such as Suggs.
Public safety realignment has also failed to save the state money as the Governor promised. The 2012-13 Corrections/Public Safety Realignment budget increased by over $200 million from the previous year, despite the fact that 29,000 felons are expected to leave the state system by June 2013 and local agencies will take control of 64,000 parolees.
Instead of shifting more criminals to overburdened local governments, the state should instead use previously approved bond funding to build new prison beds, an option that the Governor has refused to pursue.
As your representative in Sacramento, I am fighting hard to keep California safe and guarantees dangerous criminals are locked up behind bars where they belong. The Legislature must fix public safety realignment's fatal flaws to ensure that no additional Californians will be victimized by those who should have served out their full sentences in state prison.
To learn more about public safety realignment and why it is failing our state, please visit the California Crime Watch website.