Public Safety Realignment Alternatives
Realignment is unnecessary. There are other ways to reform the prison system without endangering public safety.
- In 2007, bipartisan majorities in the Legislature and Governor Schwarzenegger passed Assembly Bill 900 to responsibly address overcrowding in the state's prison and jail systems.
- AB 900 would have added 53,000 new inmate beds in two phases (40,000 for state prisons and 13,000 for local jails), and transferred 8,000 prisoners to other states that have the space to house them. This would have been accomplished without making any changes to the state's parole or sentencing systems.
- AB 900 provided $7.4billion (primarily in bonds) for prison infrastructure fixes to accommodate the new inmates.
- Even though AB 900 was passed four years ago, the Legislature and Executive Branch did not act aggressively enough to add more bed capacity. Had they done so, it would have significantly helped the state comply with the court order.
- Republicans have also fought to maintain out-of-state prison beds and keep prison camps open to house additional inmates.
- However, Governor Brown has decided to close the out-of-state beds. His realignment scheme also reduced the funding match required to access AB 900 funds. These funds were intended to enable local agencies to house local prisoners and will not be adequate to house the estimated 52,000 prisoners being diverted to local communities.
- The Governor's actions show that his realignment scheme is unnecessary.