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Is California’s Realignment Plan Working? | Jake Brower, Attorney At Law |Criminal Lawyer | Criminal Defense |DUI Defense Attorney |Felony Arrests |3-Strike Cases |Santa Ana, Orange County, CA

Criminal Law

  • Is California’s Realignment Plan Working?

    Posted Nov 12th, 2012 By in Criminal Law, realignment With | Comments Off on Is California’s Realignment Plan Working?

    When California voters approved Proposition 30, they ensured funding for a plan to reduce prison overcrowding. The state is closer to complying with a court-ordered prison overcrowding reduction of 30,000 inmates. The US Supreme Court found that prisons at 180% of capacity amounted to cruel and unusual punishment.

    Realignment puts violent offenders in county jails that, until now, housed inmates awaiting trial or serving sentences of less than a year. When offenders stay in the community they actually do re-offend less, but critics say that county jails have limited space and aren’t equipped for long stays. They ask whether realignment reforms prisons or just moves overcrowding to local jails.

    Putting more inmates in confined spaces endangers both guards and inmates. This requires more focus on security and less on job training, education and rehabilitation programs. 

    Orange County jails now house convicts sentenced to up to three years, and also see more parole violators who use their prison to assert dominance or gang politics — more than 2,550 since October 2011. More than 730 of these were placed in protective custody.

    Higher-risk and protective-custody inmates cannot be housed with others and may be assigned two-man cells to themselves if no singles are available, leaving the other bed unusable. The three Orange County jails now hold almost 6,600 inmates and have fewer than 200 available beds. Almost 300 of these beds cannot be used. The Orange County Sheriff’s Department anticipates full jails very soon and says inmates are staying longer and are also more dangerous and more adapted to incarceration.

    Community service, mental health treatment and GPS monitors are now alternatives to incarceration for minor offenses. With fewer low-risk inmates available for jobs such as kitchen work and firefighting, sheriffs must risk using higher-security inmates, causing security concerns.

    Released inmates were once automatically paroled, with two-thirds re-incarcerated, usually for technicalities. Rehabilitation is now up to the counties. Success requires a lower total prisoner population, yet the funding goes, with no strings, primarily to counties that sent a lot of prisoners to the state system. Nothing requires rehabilitation programs or prevents more jails.

    About the Author

    Jake Brower is a leading Orange County criminal lawyer with years of experience handling a wide variety of legal cases. As a criminal defense lawyer, Jake Brower provides aggressive defense for his clients and uses all treatment alternatives available to secure treatment instead of jail time. His practice has and continues to earn high marks in the legal profession, and his primary concern is giving his clients the representation they deserve.

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Jake Brower Criminal Defense Attorney, DUI Lawyer, Felony Arrests, 3-Strike Cases, Criminal Law, Drunk Driving Lawyer, Los Angeles, Orange, Anaheim, Corona del Mar, Costa Mesa, Irvine, Huntington Beach, Long Beach, Mission Viejo, Aliso Viejo, Lake Forest, Rancho Santa Margarita,Santa Ana, Newport Beach, Newport Coast, Laguna Beach, Laguna Niguel, Riverside, San Diego, Ventura, Beverly Hills, Hollywood,Oceanside, San Clemente, Carlsbad, Dana Point, Seal Beach, Long Beach, 1043 Civic Center Drive West, #200, Santa Ana CA 92703