Yesterday, Mike Rushford wrote a post
detailing the dismal experiences California has had implementing its version of dumbed-down sentencing and early release called "realignment." Realignment was signed by Gov. Brown roughly five years ago, in April 2011, in response to years of problems with prison overcrowding.
As Mike noted, the results have ranged from disappointing to dreadful. One promise of realignment has been kept, true: The state has about 30,000 fewer prison inmates. But the main promise to the electorate -- cost savings -- has been shredded. As Mike pointed out, the state is spending two billion more per year now on incarceration than when the reforms were adopted. That would be T-W-O B-I-L-L-I-O-N.
The other main promise was that Californians would be just as safe. Crime wouldn't increase; if anything, it would decrease, as the state adopted a more humane attitude and spent more on social services (which it has certainly done to the point of non-trivial bankruptcy concerns).
What has become of that critical promise?