There are 38,000 more felons in California county jails and other local lockups and programs, thanks to a relatively new state policy dubbed “realignment” which officials hope will reduce what had been a rapidly-growing prison population.
Results of a study by the Chief Probation Officers of California shows that 23,000 prison inmates have been released into supervision by local probation officers, and 15,000 more have been diverted into local jails or given probation.
The idea is to move to less-restrictive domains those felons who have demonstrated less inclination for violence in the system. To date, according to the study’s authors, California’s prison population, once over 160,000, has shrunk to under 140,000 for the first time since 1996.
Steve Bordin, president of CPOC, wrote in a statement, “It is clear that realignment is already dramatically changing criminal justice in California.” Only a “very few” probation violations have been reported since the program’s start.