Brown in Monterey on realignment

Gov. Jerry Brown, who said in his state of the state address that the state and the locals need to work together to make realignment work, is in Monterey today to meet privately with public safety officials.

Under the most controversial piece of realignment, corrections, state prison inmates are shifted to counties’ custody. In return, the state commits to provide the locals with enough resources to do the job.

But tensions remain among the locals, who contend that they have not received sufficient funds.

Brown planned to  stop by the California District Attorneys Association in Monterey. His office said he also would be in the county to hold private meetings with public safety officials.

Last week, he met with law enforcement officials in Fresno, Kern and Riverside counties. In his address to the Legislature on Monday, Brown also mentioned his trip to the Lerdo jail north of Bakersfield, where he said he was inspired by the success there of realignment.

 “This realignment is bold and far reaching, but necessary under the circumstances,” Brown said. “And local law enforcement has risen to the occasion.”

  Counties throughout the state are now using “evidence-based practices,” to better identify individual risk factors and improve treatments being used to reduce the likelihood of re-offense, according to Brown.

Gregg Fishman, a spokesman for the counties, lauded the governor’s work within those communities to make the policy effective.

“He’s been out to several counties and checking in with the people who are on the ground dealing with this, trying to make it work,” Fishman said. “It still needs some tweaking clearly, in some spots in particular, but it is also working in some spots. The degree he is paying attention to it is great.”

A recent survey by the Public Policy Institute of California found property theft was on the rise since realignment’s implementation, and the state’s district attorneys are concerned over how the state will fulfill its policy commitment.

“The governor has been good about working with us and he understands what our concerns are,” said Merced County District Attorney Larry Morse, co-chair for CDAA’s legislation committee. “But we also have to deal with the Legislature and whether our concerns are going to be addressed in the Legislature.”

 The association has assembled a realignment subcommittee to look at all aspects of what possible legislation CDAA should pursue in order to fulfill the principal moral argument for realignment: reducing recidivism rates.

 Morse said so far the move has been to release more and more people, and to lower crime penalties, which some CDAA members would argue is the reason for spikes in crime rates.

Lawmakers in charge of crafting criminal justice legislation disagree penalties have become too lax.

“If longer sentences made for safer streets, California would have some of the lowest crime rates on earth,” Assemblyman Tom Ammiano  (D-San Fransisco), chair of the new Select Committee on Justice Reinvestment, said in a prepared statement after the governor’s address.

At the moment, Morse said, “it’s too early to say with any real conviction or accuracy that it’s successful or not.”


  • Dave Combs

    Mr. Ammiano has blinders on. Before Realighnment California’s crime rate had dropped to levels not seen since the Fifties. He would also seem oblivious to the fact that if our prisons and jails release dangerous repeat felons onto the streets that crime will go up! I’d like to see Ammiano and Brown explain to family members who have lost a loved one to their “fashionable” redo of the definition of crime and punishment.

    • psalms91

      Where did you get your research? You’re obviously referring to the 20th century. In case you have not noticed, we are in the 21st century. This is the only “free” country in the world with the highest prison population with 0% of rehabilitation success rate because there is no comprehensive rehabilitation in place. Oh, please don’t give me the argument that “there are some that don’t want rehabilitation.” Some is not all!!! See what private organizations are doing like the “Last Mile” in San Quentin, or the “Dream Center” in Los Angeles. Please remove the log in your own eyes before you can see the speck on Mr. Ammiano’s.

      • Dave Combs

        I got my research from 3 Strikes and You’re Out. Studies performed in the 21st century can validly use information from the previous century. I don’t see your problem. The talking points you use sound very much from Statists who condemn American jurisprudence while neglecting the faults of other nations (Russia, China, Iran). So what if we have a prison population. We are a nation of laws, if criminals break those laws and prove themselves to be a threat to the law abiding, the law abiding have every right to punish them. Some felons are so far gone they never learn their lesson and have to be locked up for life to protect us from them. They refuse rehabilitation, they are incorrigible. Would you like them living next door to you?

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