Revised Mission Goal: No Prisoners

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The jail population rose by only about one inmate for every three fewer offenders in state prison Lofstrom and Raphael a. Since then, Proposition 47 has substantially reduced both the jail and total incarcerated populations. Some 18, offenders who would have been incarcerated were on the street because of realignment Lofstrom and Raphael Public safety concerns are understandable, but analysis shows little cause for alarm.

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Property and violent crime rates are both now below levels and have reached historic lows. In-depth research shows no evidence that realignment has increased violent crime. The post-realignment crime trends of these matched groups of states best represent what the crime rates would have been in California had the state not implemented realignment.

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The only crime increase attributable to realignment is a modest rise in property crime, driven entirely by auto theft. Lofstrom and Raphael estimate that realignment raised the auto theft rate by slightly more than 70 per , residents. The slight property crime increase tied to realignment suggests incarceration prevents some law breaking, but its effects at the pre-realignment incarceration rate are limited.

Cost-benefit calculations show that an additional dollar spent on incarceration generates only 23 cents in crime savings. The state would benefit from alternative crime prevention strategies. Promising approaches include increases in policing, cognitive behavioral therapy, early childhood programs, and targeted interventions for high-risk youth. Recidivism—the rate at which offenders are found to re-offend within a certain period—is the primary gauge for measuring correctional system performance.

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To accomplish this, realignment shifted post-release supervision of most lower-level felons from state parole to county probation departments Post Release Community Supervision and called on counties to use evidence-based practices to prevent returns to crime. So far, there is no clear evidence that this approach has significantly reduced recidivism. Another realignment goal was to decrease returns to prison, a major cause of overcrowding. Realignment achieved this essentially by halting the return of released offenders to prison for parole violations.

More than 40 percent of released offenders were back in prison within a year. We do not know to what extent the drop in returns to prison reflected less re-offending or simply the shift of post-release supervision from the state to counties, which means that probation and parole violators go to jail instead of prison. Research on the first group of offenders released after realignment provides no evidence of dramatic changes in recidivism.

One-year rearrest rates dropped 2 percentage points. However, the proportion of those rearrested multiple times rose about 7 percentage points, which may reflect the increased time released offenders are on the street Lofstrom and Raphael b. Post-realignment reconviction rates increased about 1. Lofstrom, Raphael, and Grattet also found an increased reconviction rate among rearrested released offenders. This may reflect criminal prosecution of offenses that previously would have been handled as parole violations by the Board of Parole Hearings BPH.

The fact that recidivism rates have not fallen does not mean realignment has failed. First, realignment was implemented unusually quickly and counties had to prepare in a hurry. They need time to identify the most effective approaches. Research finds substantial differences among counties in the extent that recidivism rates changed after realignment.

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There is evidence consistent with relatively better results in counties that prioritize re-entry services relative to those counties that prioritized enforcement Bird and Grattet Second, realignment put on the street some released offenders who previously would have been incarcerated. In and of itself, this could make new crimes more likely.

It is possible though that county supervision programs have partially offset the effects of increased street time. Third, police, probation officers, prosecutors, and judges may have changed practices under realignment, potentially affecting key measures of recidivism, such as arrest and conviction rates. One anticipated benefit from realignment was that the state, even with making realignment payments to the counties, would be able to save money on corrections.

Savings were expected from a drop in prisoner and parolee populations. In addition, county responsibility for corrections was thought to be more cost-effective. Still, expenditures might have been even greater if California had taken a different approach to meeting the court-ordered capacity mandate, such as building new prisons.

Higher outlays for inmate medical and mental health care contribute to rising corrections spending. The state has raised the budget for inmate medical and mental health care.

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In addition to the yearly spending on state corrections, county realignment payments, and one-time state corrections infrastructure expenditures, the state has also provided funds for jail construction. Funding programs in AB passed in , SB in , and SB in are paying for an estimated 14, jail beds across the state.

Counties will also get much-needed space for medical, educational, and other services. New jail space is important if counties are to avoid overcrowding, provide adequate services and avoid lawsuits. That risk may well have been reduced given the likely jail population relief stemming from Proposition Realignment—one of the most significant changes in California corrections in decades—is approaching the four-year mark.

Realignment shifted administrative and funding responsibility for many lower-level offenders from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation to county jail and probation systems. The reform was expected to lower incarceration rates, improve recidivism trends, and lower costs.

Decarceration Strategies: How 5 States Achieved Substantial Prison Population Reductions

In important ways, realignment has succeeded and it appears to have moved California corrections in the right direction. The reform significantly reduced the prison population, although the state did not reach the federally mandated target until passage of Proposition 47, which reduced penalties for many property and drug offenses. Realignment increased the number of inmates in county jails, but Proposition 47 is now causing the jail population to fall.

For county jails, realignment represents a significant challenge. Jails now house offenders serving long sentences. Develop livelihood programs to assist inmates earn a living and develop their skills while in prison. The Correctional System in the Philippines is composed of six agencies under three distinct and separate departments of the national government:.

Criminal Justice and Prison Reform

Offenders convicted by the courts to serve sentences of three years or more are kept at the prison facilities of the bureau of corrections: they are classified as national prisoners. This individualized instruction provided by interns is edited by the instructors, transferred through Blackboard back to the prisons, printed in hard copy, and hand-delivered by prison staff directly to prisoners in their cells.

ASU writing interns currently coach about inmates who, together with the interns, produce between and pages of writing and critique per semester. To our current knowledge there is no other writing project in the United States that partners a university with maximum security inmates via online technology. This online internship is a model for development and expansion.

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As part of its awareness mission, PEAC facilitates the Prison Education Conference on the ASU campus each March, now in its fourth year, with attendees from around the state and keynote speakers from around the country. Graduate level internships are offered for classes taught once a week at Florence and Eyman State Prisons. Since , the Department of English has provided courses in creative writing, linguistics, history of English, Shakespeare, TESOL and — in cooperation with other departments — also provides courses in art, biology, Chinese, math, philosophy, psychology, and theatre.

The internship operates in close cooperation with the Arizona Department of Corrections. These include:. Math : Beginning in fall of , faculty and graduate and undergraduate student interns began tutoring incarcerated persons at all levels of math instruction at Eyman and Florence State Prisons. Supervisor: Prof. Albert Boggess. Supervisors: Profs. Stephani Woodson and Erika Hughes. Kevin Wright. Stephani Woodson. Janice Pittsley.