Daily News — Sen. Jim Nielsen-Special to the DN
Not early release?
Assertions that prison realignment is not an early release program are deceptive.
Realignment changed penalties and the level of parole supervision for most felons convicted after Nov. 1, 2011. It shifted the responsibility for tens of thousands of felons to counties where jail space is already filled to capacity, and changed the definition of who qualifies for community service programs.
Realignment authorizes the early release of felons.
Convicted felons now sentenced to county supervision instead of state prisons include:
--- Career drug dealers
--- Commercial burglars
--- Habitual auto and I.D. thieves
--- Criminals with long criminal histories including felonies involving assault and firearms
A county sentence is not the same as a State Prison sentence.
Under Penal Code, Section 17.5, a felon sentenced to jail rather than prison may be released early subject to day reporting, electronic monitoring or any number of non-custodial treatment programs.
Realignment also allows judges to split the sentence of felons so that part of their term may be spent in county jail and part subject to county probation (Section 1170 (h)(5)). When county jails are full, where will the felons go?
Under realignment, parole periods have been slashed from three years to one year. continue reading...