California jails letting inmates go early
August 18, 2014
In the wake of California prison realignment, local jails across the state are releasing more and more inmates before they have completed their sentences. [LA Times]
California jails are currently releasing more than 13,500 inmates early each month in order to reduce overcrowding. The early release rate has increased by 34 percent over the last three years.
Additionally, some counties have curtailed or virtually eliminated incarceration for a variety of misdemeanors, jail data shows. Crimes that are often not resulting in sentences include parole violations, domestic violence, child abuse, drug use and driving under the influence.
Critics of prison realignment say the resulting jail overcrowding has emboldened criminals. Many individuals now commit crimes and violate probation terms knowing they are assured immediate release.
Proponents of prison realignment point to a recent federal crime study. The report showed that California crime rates have dropped significantly since prison realignment took effect in 2011.