In an effort to address overcrowding in California’s prisons and assist in alleviating the state’s financial crisis, the Public Safety Realignment Act (Realignment), pursuant to AB 109, was signed into law on April 4, 2011 and took effect October 1, 2011. Realignment made some of the largest and pivotal changes to the criminal justice system in California. Generally speaking, Realignment transferred the responsibility of supervision to the 58 counties for felons (excluding high risk sex offenders) released from prison whose commitment offenses are statutorily defined as non-serious and non-violent. Offenders convicted after October 1, 2011 who have no current or prior statutorily defined serious, violent, or sex-offending convictions are to serve time locally (regardless of length of sentence) with the possibility of community supervision in place of time spent in custody. View the short video on Realignment:
Effective July 1, 2013, parole violations are housed, prosecuted and tried locally. This legislation created an unprecedented opportunity for all 58 California counties to determine an appropriate level of supervision and services to address both the needs and risks of individuals released from prison and local jails into the community. With the passage of Proposition 30 in 2012, Realignment is ensured a continuous source of funding. For fiscal year 2013-14 Orange County has been allocated 6.7 percent of the total appropriated by the legislature for Realignment.
As of September 30, 2013, there have been 3,240 individuals released to PCS and 1,633 sentenced to Mandatory Supervision (MS) in Orange County. Nearly all departments in the CCP had to increase staff to address the needs and legal mandates of the PCS, MS and Parole Violation offender populations. Collaborations between departmental agencies have fostered successes in treating all aspects of an offender’s needs to reduce the likelihood of reoffending. Realignment data for Orange County demonstrate the vast majority of the three offender groups supervised by the Orange County Probation Department (OC Probation) have not had convictions for new crimes within one year of release from custody or adjudication of their case: 76% of Probationers, 73% of PCS, and 69% of MS have no convictions for new crimes within one year. Click here for the available monthly and quarterly reports. Statistical dashboards on Realignment for all 58 counties are available through the Chief Probation Officers of California (CPOC) website at http://www.cpoc.org/realignment.
OC Probation, Health Care Agency (HCA) and community-based organizations work closely with each other to link offenders to necessary resources including treatment and employment services. With the implementation of the Sheriff’s Department’s Transition from Jail to Community (TJC) program, assessments are used to identify offenders likely to recidivate and resources are targeted to meet their needs in a community setting that serves as a cost-effective alternative to incarceration. The CCP will continue to collaborate and incorporate best practices across agencies in order to address the needs of the Realignment population and protect the community.
Making Orange County a safe, healthy, and fulfilling place to live, work, and play, today and for generations to come, by providing outstanding, cost-effective regional public services.
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