The State of California enacted criminal justice system changes to respond to a variety of factors present in 2011: a significant U.S. Supreme Court decision which could have led to arbitrary early release of tens of thousands of prison inmates; years of state and local government budget deficits; and a high recidivism rate for criminal offenders. The plan resulted in Public Safety Realignment, enacted through California Assembly bills AB 109 and AB 117. As a result, individuals who would have been the responsibility of the State prior to these changes are now being supervised and housed by local County Probation and Sheriff Departments. Instead of serving their parole time on State parole jurisdiction, these individuals are now under the supervision of our County Probation Department as Post Release Community Supervision (PRCS) offenders.
These individuals are eligible for local supervision if their most recent conviction was a non-violent, non-serious, and non-sexual offense. In addition to those being supervised by Probation as PRCS, additional offenders are serving their sentences in our local County jail facilities under the Penal Code section 1170(h). Many of these offenders will eventually serve a portion of their local time under supervision of the Probation Department, on Mandatory Supervision (MS).
In response to AB 109, the Office of the County Executive, the Office of the Sheriff/Department of Correction, Behavioral Health Services Department, Custody Health, Ambulatory Care, Social Services Agency, and Probation established the County's Reentry Resource Center (RRC) to assist formerly incarcerated individuals making a successful transition to the community. The RRC opened in February 2012 and along with the Community Corrections Partnership (CCP) Plan and the Adult Reentry Strategic Plan, paved the path for a new way of doing business by focusing on recidivism reduction strategies; streamlining processes to link inmates to effective in-custody and post-release community-based programming; identify cost-saving methods; and support the realignment of parolees and low-level prisoners under the Public Safety Realignment Act (AB 109). The County has set an excellent foundation for a proactive, rehabilitative justice network with untold capacity for continued improvement over the years.