Merced Sun-Star — Nearly 18 months after the state’s prison realignment law took effect, Merced officials agree the jury is still out on whether it meets its intended goals.
Gov. Jerry Brown's vision for AB 109 -- to reduce prison overcrowding and inmate recidivism -- is being weighed against its potential impact on crime.
Many Merced area law enforcement leaders say it's too soon to draw conclusions about whether the law has increased crime, but they did reflect on what hasn't been working thus far.
The comments by local law enforcement officials follow meetings this month between Brown and researchers about the impact of the law.
In a private meeting, Brown told two Stanford Law School professors and their students he was concerned about the way counties are managing their jail populations. Brown said he’s also mulling potential changes to the law.
Despite those meetings between Brown and researchers, however, there’s still no concrete answers about prison realignment's impact on crime rates and recidivism.
Scott Ball, Merced County's chief probation officer, said the law’s funding formula short-changes Merced County by allocating money based on census data and inmate population.
As a result, Merced County receives about $12,000 per offender, as opposed to $30,000 in some Bay Area counties. continue reading...