SACRAMENTO, Calif.- Senator Anthony Cannella introduced SB 144, the Realignment Reinvestment Act, in direct response to the strain increased jail and community supervision populations placed on counties, like Monterey, as a result of the Governor's 2011 Local Public Safety Realignment legislation.
"With such an immediate influx of criminals from the state, Monterey County was saddled with additional costs to incarcerate prisoners that it could hardly afford," said Monterey County Sheriff Scott Miller in a news release last week. "I am glad that Senator Cannella has listened to the needs of counties such as ours and is taking action to better the realignment program."
The legislation shifted more than 40,000 state felons to local communities. In a news release, Sen. Cannella said the bill provides additional funding for front line law enforcement, jail operations, community supervision and treatment services by reinvesting money that would have otherwise been spent in the state prison system in the absence of realignment into programs at the local level.
Cannella said the allocation of these additional funds is directly linked to the number of "realigned" offenders in each county, which is much more equitable than the current funding allocation formula.
"Prison realignment was proposed as a ‘safe and secure' program to reduce our state prison population. Unfortunately, what has happened is we have overburdened our local jails by not providing them the resources they need to adequately deal with these criminals," said Senator Cannella. "As a result, some of these criminals are being sent back on the street earlier than they should have and are reoffending."
In December 2012, Senator Cannella, along with Senator Michael Rubio (D-Shafter) and 11 other Central Valley legislators, sent a letter to Governor Brown requesting that "realignment funds target counties with higher per capita populations of AB 109 offenders."
The realignment began in October 2011, all to minimize overcrowding at California state prisons.