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Calif. prison realignment: Many women are serving more time in custody (photos)




An inmate teaches a course in the Education Based Incarceration program at the Twin Towers Correctional Facility on October 2nd, 2013.
An inmate teaches a course in the Education Based Incarceration program at the Twin Towers Correctional Facility on October 2nd, 2013.
Mae Ryan/KPCC
An inmate teaches a course in the Education Based Incarceration program at the Twin Towers Correctional Facility on October 2nd, 2013.
Caryn Quincey says she has helped other inmates with their education.
Mae Ryan/KPCC
An inmate teaches a course in the Education Based Incarceration program at the Twin Towers Correctional Facility on October 2nd, 2013.
Melinda Rodriguez sits on a day bed, which prisoners sleep on due to overcrowding in the prison system.
Mae Ryan/KPCC
An inmate teaches a course in the Education Based Incarceration program at the Twin Towers Correctional Facility on October 2nd, 2013.
Caryn Quincey hands out an inspirational poem to women enrolled in the Education Based Incarceration class at the Twin Towers Correctional Facility on October 2nd, 2013.
Mae Ryan/KPCC
An inmate teaches a course in the Education Based Incarceration program at the Twin Towers Correctional Facility on October 2nd, 2013.
The Los Angeles Sheriff's Department started the Education Based Incarceration program in 2011.
Mae Ryan/KPCC
An inmate teaches a course in the Education Based Incarceration program at the Twin Towers Correctional Facility on October 2nd, 2013.
Women sign up for the Education Based Incarceration program at the Twin Towers Correctional Facility on October 2nd, 2013.
Mae Ryan/KPCC
An inmate teaches a course in the Education Based Incarceration program at the Twin Towers Correctional Facility on October 2nd, 2013.
Due to realignment, inmates that normally would have served their sentence in state prison are now incarcerated at county jails.
Mae Ryan/KPCC
An inmate teaches a course in the Education Based Incarceration program at the Twin Towers Correctional Facility on October 2nd, 2013.
Caryn Quincey practices yoga in a common work out area at the Twin Towers Correctional Facility in downtown Los Angeles on October 2nd, 2013. At state prisons, most inmates can go outside for exercise. Inmates housed in county jails often do not go outside for the majority of their sentence.
Mae Ryan/KPCC
An inmate teaches a course in the Education Based Incarceration program at the Twin Towers Correctional Facility on October 2nd, 2013.
Two women occupy one cell at the Twin Towers Correctional Facility in downtown Los Angeles. Other women sleep in the common area on day beds due to overcrowding.
Mae Ryan/KPCC


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Caryn Quincey holds up a photo she keeps in her jail cell at “Twin Towers” lockup in Downtown Los Angeles.

"Different, right?" she said.

The photo was taken a few days before she went to jail on a conviction related to financial fraud. That was two years ago, but in the photo, Quincey looks about 10 years younger. But, she says, things could be worse.

"I just want to give a shout-out to the woman who did my Botox before coming in here," Quincey said. "It's held up well."

She is one of thousands of women convicted of lower-level felonies who've been sent to L.A.'s County jails under AB 109, the state's prison realignment law passed in 2011. Meant to alleviate overcrowding in California's state prisons, realignment put counties in charge of punishing people for lower level drug and property crimes. 

KPCC crime reporter Rina Palta has the story