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California Study Examines Titanic Shift In Criminal Justice

Publication Date: 
November 10, 2013
San Jose Mercury News
Tracey Kaplan

Professor Joan Petersilia spoke with Tracey Kaplan from the San Jose Mercury News regarding a new study from the Stanford Criminal Justice Center which found that the majority of people are "on board" with California's public safety realignment. 

Two years after California loaded responsibility for most low-level criminal offenders onto counties, the titanic policy shift, according to a new study, is getting mixed reviews from law enforcement and justice officials, many of whom continue to fret about a possible rise in crime and decline in public safety.

The Stanford Criminal Justice Center's eye-opening report is the first comprehensive look at how those involved in one of the most sweeping correctional experiments in recent history really feel about it.


"What was most surprising was nobody said it should be repealed,'' said Stanford law professor Joan Petersilia, the study's author and an advocate of the change. "They are on board seriously; it's not just mouthing it, because they know the previous system was failing on almost every dimension,'' including the highest recidivism rate in the nation.