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Realignment Date Fast Approaching

Publication Date: 
April 24, 2013
Daily Journal
Jeffrey A. Lowe

 A stat given by Professor Joan Petersilia, co-director of the Stanford Criminal Justice Center, is used by the Daily Journal's Jeffrey Lowe in this article about California's new efforts to commence the realignment of sentencing low-level offenders and how failures in the parole system have significantly contributed to overcrowding of state prisons.

"For too long, the state's prison system has been a revolving door for lower-level offenders and parole violators who are released within months, often before they are even transferred out of a reception center. Cycling these offenders through state prisons wastes money, aggravates crowded conditions, thwarts rehabilitation, and impedes local law enforcement supervision." - Gov. Jerry Brown, April 5, 2011.

In that spirit, on July 1 California will commence the realignment of sentencing low-level offenders who have historically cycled in and out of state prisons for years. Counties will be responsible for the supervision of certain convicted felons.


One of the main contributors to historic overcrowding of California's prisons was the failure of parole to keep people out of prison. In 2006, for example, 64 percent of those admitted to state prison were parole violators, according to Professor Joan Petersilia of Stanford Law School. See "Parole Violations and Revocation in California," October 2008.