Criminal Justice Reform
Public Safety Realignment and Beyond
AB 109, Public Safety Realignment, alters the face of California’s criminal justice system. Under AB 109, individuals who were sentenced to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) for non-violent, non-serious, non-sexual offenses (“non/non/nons”) are released to the supervision of the local Probation Departments in their counties of origin, rather than to the State’s Parole Agency. In addition, individuals newly convicted of non/non/non offenses – statutorily designated as 1170(h) offenses – can no longer be sentenced to CDCR, but will instead serve their sentences in local custody, either in county jail, under county probation supervision, or some combination of both.
To support the ability of counties to accommodate the growth of the local criminal justice population, the State allocated funds to each county based on the number of non/non/non individuals each county previously sent to prison prior to realignment.
- The state encourages a rehabilitative approach by mandating the use of evidence-based practices (EBPs) as a means to reduce recidivism, and the use of community alternatives to incarceration. Some counties are using AB 109 as an opportunity to host trainings and conferences on Evidence Based Practices.
- Some counties are using AB 109 to improve the services available to support rehabilitation and re-entry, starting in-custody through release and community re-integration. We recently completed a planning process with the San Mateo County Sherriff’s Office to identify gaps in jail-based services and next steps to improve programming available to support successful re-entry.
- The legislation mandates that each county create a Community Corrections Partnership (CCP) to oversee the development and implementation of a local implementation plan (LIP) that includes EBPs and custody alternatives. Most counties have completed their LIPs, and the focus is moving towards ongoing monitoring and evaluation. Conducting a formative evaluation during implementation allows counties to monitor progress towards goals and objectives and consider program adjustments or improvements.