The California Corrections and Rehabilitation Department offered a glimpse today of how realignment is working. The program diverts low-level offenders to county jails in an effort to reduce state prison overcrowding.
A study done by the department compares inmates released pre- and post- realignment. It found post-realignment offenders were re-arrested at a lower rate than pre-realignment offenders. Both groups were convicted of new crimes at nearly the same rate. The department’s Jeffrey Callison stresses this is just a snapshot.
“This is not intended to be a definitive statement on realignment. It’s just showing people what’s been happening with some people who were released from prison after serving their time,” says Callison.
The study found post-realignment offenders were far less likely to be returned to prison for a parole violation. But that’s because most are ineligible to go back to prison under the realignment policy.