BSCC Response to the Aug. 2014 PPIC Report on Local Realignment Policies and Recidivism

This report appears to be carefully prepared and represents an important contribution to the ongoing discussion of criminal justice policy as much for the questions it raises as for the findings it offers. This preliminary review of the earliest months appears to show a relationship between spending on reentry services and a positive impact on recidivism. In the first year of implementation the State allocated $400 million to the counties. In 2013-14, counties received approximately $1 billion, which is being allocated according to counties’ evolving priorities. We will learn more as counties’ collaborative and innovative approaches to public safety, including reentry services, have time to work. The PPIC analysis of the 2011-2012 year of funding was limited by the counties’ uncertainty at that time about the sustainability of Realignment funding and the quick adjustments made to launch this significant policy shift. California’s 58 counties differed substantially in their readiness to carry out Realignment. We agree with the authors’ cautions about drawing conclusions based on the first year of Realignment.