What do we do with the recently released data that approximately 60% of parolees released to counties were arrested within 12 months of leaving prison? This confirms that rather than seeing a decrease, recidivism rates have, in fact, increased. This data, coupled with the public criticism that the state has failed to provide counties with adequate notice upon the release of dangerous and violent felons, renews the oft repeated question: Is realignment working in California? This article authored by the Los Angeles Police Protective League and posted on Fox & Hounds indicates it is not.
All over the state, counties, cities and their law enforcement departments, who are already facing significant budgetary constraints, are forced to use new and innovative ways to combat crime and apprehend felons in their community. The statistics show the “realignment” picture has changed. The original plan – which was to have those convicted of non-violent, non-sexual and non-serious felonies serve their sentences in county jails rather than state prison – has blurred. The statistics paint a different picture: violent criminals are being placed under local control and those released are reoffending. Will the picture be re-drawn or further blurred? We will have to wait and see.