In this photo taken Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2011, double-tiered bunks are seen in one of the cells at a formerly closed housing unit at the Rio Cosumnes Correctional Center, in Elk Grove, Calif. that will be reopened to handle the increase of inmates sentenced under the new prison realignment program.
Under a realignment plan implemented last year, California has begun to shift supervision of thousands of non-serious and non-violent convicted criminals to counties — and things seem to be going as planned, according to a recent report by the Legislative Analyst's Office.
"The transition of inmates released from prison at the end of their terms to community supervision by counties has generally gone well," said Wednesday's report. "Counties report that they usually receive information on the offenders to be released well before their actual release dates."
But Brian Brown, author of the report, adds that counties lack systems to keep track of their progress.
“How many of them are re-arrested?" he asked. "How many of them end up going on to prison for new crimes? [...] These aren’t necessarily the really exciting issues, but these are the details that will make a difference in the long-term for folks to even evaluate what the impact of realignment was.”
The report doesn’t address the biggest concern of local governments: funding. Gov. Jerry Brown’s November ballot initiative includes a constitutional guarantee of billions each year for expanded jails and more rehabilitation programs.
Anxieties have flown through Los Angeles and elsewhere that the influx of offenders will overwhelm local lockups and increase crime.