Sentencing law takes effect Monday
October 2, 2011
Starting Monday, felons sentenced in California for non-violent and non-sexual crimes will be sent to their local county jails instead of state prisons to serve time.
Drug dealers, burglars and other felons sentenced in San Luis Obispo Superior Court will become wards of the county, under a realignment plan slated to reduce the number of inmates entering the overcrowded state prison system.
The San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s department is putting two modular housing units into use at the county jail to accommodate inmates found to be eligible for realignment. The units can hold up to 48 inmates. [KCOY]
In addition, realignment also changes parole rules. State parole officers will no longer supervise non-violent and non-sexual offenders released from state prisons. Instead, county probation officers will monitor former inmates for a shortened period of time.
Proponents of realignment say that it will ease prison overcrowding and recidivism rates. California currently has a 70 percent recidivism rate, one of the highest in the nation.
In order to comply with a U.S. Supreme Court order that California reduce its prison population from 143,000 to 110,000 by 2013, Gov. Jerry Brown and the legislature have worked out a plan to send new offenders to local jails rather than releasing thousands of felons incarcerated in the state prison system.