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Report Shows More Felonies Under Realignment:

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A recently released report from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) indicates that fewer criminals released from prison under Realignment have been arrested for crimes than those released before the law took effect.  The CDCR press release, picked up by Sacramento Today, reports that under Realignment, fewer released inmates have been rearrested and the conviction rate for those released one year prior to Realignment is nearly the same as for those released over the first year under the new law.  The report also notes that fewer ex-cons are returning to prison under Realignment.  All this great news is right up front where everyone can see it; the not-so-great news in the report but did not make the press release. 

While arrest rates are slightly lower, conviction rates are slightly higher, and the felony arrest rate is 6% higher.  Fewer arrests for misdemeanors and supervision violations are what drove the total arrest rate down.  This makes perfect sense, because after Realignment, criminals can commit drug and property felonies without worrying about going to prison.  Why steal a six pack of beer when you can steal the whole beer truck and the worst you can get is time in county jail?  Under Realignment, most criminals released from prison receive light supervision on county probation rather than the intense supervision on state parole.  It is no surprise that fewer relatively unsupervised ex-cons are being arrested for supervision violations.  The report also points out that no prison inmates are being released early under Realignment.  True enough, but now that many county jails are filled beyond capacity with thousands of former prison inmates convicted of new felonies which no longer carry a prison sentence,  thieves, drug dealers, and wife beaters are being released on probation after serving a few weeks because there is no room to hold them.  Realignment has created conditions that force the early release of criminals who are no longer eligible for prison.

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