On October 1, California will mark the one year anniversary of the Public Safety Realignment program. Public Safety Realignment will eventually result in 33,000-50,000 felons shifting from state to local custody and 64,000 parolee felons being supervised by local probation departments, instead of the state parole department.
Communities across California are dealing with the chilling impact of Public Safety Realignment – and the results have been tragic in many instances. Last week, a Fresno man allegedly stabbed two women in their apartment, killing one of the victims, and then stabbed a police officer before being subdued. According to the Fresno Police Chief, the suspect was in the community as a result of Public Safety Realignment.
Advocates for Realignment frequently stated that costs would be reduced by transitioning felons to local custody. But the California Budget Fact Check found that:
- The Corrections/Public Safety Realignment budget in 2011-12 was $9.6 billion, roughly the same as the previous year. According to the non-partisan Legislative Analyst’s Office, the only significant budgetary savings from realignment in 2011-12 was the result of reducing education funding by $2.1 billion.
- The 2012-13 Corrections/Public Safety Realignment budget increased by over $200 million from the previous year, despite the fact that 29,000 felons are expected to leave the state system by June 2013 and local agencies will take control of 64,000 parolees.
- Local jails are experiencing overcrowding and other impacts that have forced local sheriffs to release prisoners before they complete their sentence. By 2015, the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation estimates that 7,500 prisoners will be housed in county jails with sentences of 3 years or more.
Click to continue reading “Has Public Safety Realignment Saved the State Money?”