black box with text and faded abastract images of the senate seal and the assembly

What They’re Saying…

"I've talked to district attorneys, I've talked to police chiefs, I've talked to sheriffs. I will continue going to counties in California and I can report, not just on my say-so, but by the people in the field--probation, mental health, sheriffs that run jails--that realignment is working."
Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr.
(Source: Los Angeles Times, Melanie Mason, April 8, 2014)

"I believe that Public Safety Realignment is an opportunity for Sutter County to create a system that works for our community, and, for the first time, with funding that will sustain these programs and practices, with the local controls to make adjustments as we see fit."
Interim Sutter County Chief Probation Officer, Chris Odom
(Source: Appeal Democrat, Rob Parsons, February 16, 2013)

"The general public may think that AB 109 is soft on crime, but I think this is tougher on crime. We are providing evidence-based services to deter them from re-offending. Just locking them up does nothing.”
Siskiyou County Chief Probation Officer Todd Heie
(Source: Mt. Shasta News, Ami Ridling, January 11, 2013)

"Our public safety realignment process is a well-planned and thoughtful path toward reducing our state prison population, and to this point we've been able to reduce the prison population without early release of serious and violent inmates.”
California State Senator Darrel Steinberg
(Source: Sacramento Bee, Sam Stanton/David Siders/Denny Walsh, January 9, 2013)

“Recognizing that  a “one size fits all” approach will not be successful, each county has the flexibility and authority to design programs and services to manage these  offenders in a way that makes the most sense locally…Counties are prepared to do our part to ensure that realignment is a local success.”
Mike McGowan, President of the California State Association of Counties and Yolo County Supervisor
(Source:, November 2, 2012)

"Because Santa Cruz County did not use state prison as a dumping ground for low level offenders we are not as affected like other counties around the state (by realignment.)"
Santa Cruz District Attorney Bob Lee
(Source: Santa Cruz Sentinel, Jessica Pasko, October 27, 2012)

"The federal courts have ordered California to dramatically reduce the prison population and the realignment plan that has been adopted with the support of the [California] District Attorneys Association, the chief probation officers, the [state] sheriffs association, and the police chiefs is the safest and most effective way to respond to the courts' order."
Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr.
(Source: Daily Journal, Henry Meier, September 26, 2012)

"There are those who think it's early release and it isn't. These are people who were going to be released anyway. The question was who was going to monitor them."
San Bernardino County Chief Probation Officer Michelle Scray
(Source: Monterey County Herald, Beatriz E. Valenzuela, September 21, 2012)

“My opinion of AB 109 is that although it was considered a spontaneous program and there was a lot of doubt as to its success, I think the data clearly shows that it is effective and that with the addition of more programming it will become more effective and we’ll see better numbers.”
Calaveras County Chief Probation Officer Teri Hall
(Source: Calaveras Enterprise, Joel Metzger, August 1, 2012)

"I am pleased with the progress Placer County is making in implementing realignment."
Jack Duran, Placer County Supervisor
(Source: Rocklin and Roseville Today, June 27, 2012)

“"(Fresno is) slowly moving in the right direction. We're not going to solve our problems by tossing people in jail, like we've done, and then just throw them back on the street." ,"
Debbie Reyes, Director of the Fresno-based California Prison Moratorium Project
(Source: Fresno Bee, Kurtis Alexander, June 26, 2012)

"When it costs from $45,000 to incarcerate a person (in state prison), and when that money could be used to rehabilitate four persons and get them back on their feet, I think it's well worth the investment (in rehabilitation)."
Merced County Sheriff Mark Pazine
(Source: Merced Sun Star, Joshua Emerson Smith, June 26, 2012)

“In the big picture, in San Diego County, we believe we are adjusting well…as long as we used the evidence-based principle of assessing risk to identify who is best suited for (alternative custody) options, then we are achieving our goal of managing public safety."
San Diego County Chief Probation Officer, Mack Jenkins
(Source: North County Times, Chris Nichols, June 21, 2012)

“Realignment is achieving its goals more quickly than even its supporters had anticipated.”
(Source: Center for Juvenile and Criminal Justice report, June 14, 2012)

"Putting as many people in prison for as long as possible is not the best way to spend public dollars and protect public safety."
(Source: Pew Center on the States report, June 6, 2012)

“Realignment is achieving its goals more quickly than even its supporters had anticipated.”
(Source: Center for Juvenile and Criminal Justice report, June 14, 2012)

“Violent and career criminals belong behind bars, and for a long time, but building more prisons to house lower-risk non-violent inmates for longer sentences simply is not the best way to reduce crime.”
Adam Gelb, Director of the Public Safety Performance Project
(Source: Pew Center report “Time Served: The High Cost, Low Return of Longer Prison Terms,” June 5, 2012)

“Governor Brown demonstrated once again his commitment to counties by staying true to his vow to sustain funding for realignment.” (Regarding Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr.’s May budget revise).
California State Association of Counties President and Yolo County Supervisor, Mike McGowan
(Source: CSAC press release May 14, 2012)

“With adequate time, attention and resources, a better plan will take shape to track and manage inmates and work with community groups to re-integrate offenders into the community.”
Santa Barbara County Chief Probation Officer, Beverly Taylor
(Source: Santa Ynez Valley Journal, Jeremy Foster, May 11, 2012)

“California’s counties use state prison resources at dramatically different rates, and … the counties which use state prisons the most have below-average crime rates. Viewed this way, the state is simply …  forcing counties to pay for their sentencing decisions.”
(Source: W. David Ball, Assistant Professor, Santa Clara Law School, in his 2011 study “Tough on Crime (On the State’s Dime)”)

“I think all of us have been surprised how successful these people have been and how they’ve changed.” (Regarding Tuolumne County’s new Day Reporting Center for probationers, funded by the 2011 Public Safety Realignment).
Dan Hawks, manager of Tuolumne County Probation’s Adult Supervision Unit
(Source: The Union Democrat, May 3, 2012)

“Reducing prison costs requires reducing the prison population in a way that ensures the worst of the worst are appropriately punished while lower-level offenders get the help needed to leave the system for good. (CDCR’s blueprint and other prison proposals) offer a good starting point to achieve those reforms.”
(Source: Bakersfield Californian editorial, May 1, 2012)

“Since (Realignment) took effect last October, that shift has gone as expected. Counties have not been overwhelmed. In fact, the number of offenders released from county jails due to lack of space actually declined in the first three months…But, make no mistake, California finally seems on the right path to get its state prison population and management under control.”
(Source: Sacramento Bee Editorial, Pia Lopez, April 29, 2012)

“The philosophy behind realignment is based on more than a decade of thinking, studying, evidence-gathering and soul-searching over the costly cycle of crime, incarceration, failure and return to prison…The public can be safer, the cycle can be broken, and tax money can be spent more constructively — and more frugally.”
(Source: Los Angeles Times editorial, April 25, 2012)

“While criminal justice realignment presents the most significant challenge ever faced by the Inyo County Justice System and local treatment providers, the ultimate goal of public safety can be achieved with effective communication, collaboration and fiscally responsible decision-making with respect to our limited resources.”
Inyo County Chief Probation Officer Jeff Thomson
(Source: Inyo Register, Mike Gervais, April 17, 2012)

“In addition to the enforcement (and) compliance component, probation has focused on a number of resources that are traditionally outside of the role parole provides. We focus on treatment elements which range from employment resources to substance abuse programming. We are modeling these probation programs for Post-Release Community Supervision (PRCS), I do believe that our success rate for probationers will transfer to the PRCS cases.”
Chris Condon, San Bernardino County Probation Department
(Source: High Desert Daily Press, Beatriz E. Valenzuela, March 12, 2012)

"Nobody is being released early, they're doing their time.” (Speaking about implementing effective drug-rehabilitation and anger management programs) It’s not about incarceration.”
Tulare County Sheriff Bill Wittman
(Source: Visalia Times Delta, Luis Hernandez, March 12, 2012)

“This is a renaissance in probation. Our reliance on custody in many instances has done more harm than good. People come out of prison different. Not better, different. If you have up-front programs that are effective to get to these folks, you have a pretty good chance of turning some of them around … to change their life. We did not do anything before. Now we are.

(Regarding predictions of skyrocketing crime due to AB 109) It was "blood in the streets and ain't it awful." That has not happened. I think it was an overreaction. These are people who would have come to the community anyway, but they would have been supervised by parole. Now, they're supervised by us.

We're getting better results; there's funding available, programs that work. … We have mental health, GED prep, job creation through Pride Industries. … It didn't exist before. There was just mainly a limited supervision, knock on the door, and caseloads that were really high. That was pretty much it.

(Regarding worries of a high-profile being committed by someone under county supervision) They would have been here anyway; we just supervise all of them (instead of state parole agents). I fully expect there will be a high-profile case. … That's a possibility and that's been discussed. … There is a relatively small percentage of people who will do those types of crimes.”
Sacramento Chief Probation Officer Don Meyer
Sacramento Bee, Sam Stanton, March 5, 2012

“Absolutely it’s working. We’re thinking outside the box, in terms of rehab. We’re providing graduated sanctions to keep them out of custody, like substance abuse counseling, increased office visits. … Once these needs are identified, the officer can formulate a case plan around that. What dictated case plans before was the court.”
Ventura County Deputy Probation Officer Jim Davis
VC Reporter, Shane Cohn, February 23, 2012

“We are excited about the potential AB 109 holds for us to make changes to recidivism…and we look forward to pushing forward in the right direction.”
Pam Whalen, criminal justice organizer for the American Civil Liberties Union., Minerva Perez, February 21, 2012

“People are going to be doing less time. If they are receiving better services they are going to be re-offending less.”
Merced County Chief Probation Officer Scott Ball, Minerva Perez, February 21, 2012

“(San Diego) County officials ---- including Sheriff Bill Gore, District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis and Chief Probation Officer Mack Jenkins ---- say realignment is philosophically sound because the inmates will have better access to local resources to help smooth their reintegration after their release. "Mack Jenkins has been a terrific spokesperson about the positive opportunity that realignment creates. I think there's a lot of misinformation about what realignment will mean, like prisoners running rampant in the streets. The county and Jenkins have done a good job of rejecting those myths."”
Kevin Keenan, Executive Director of San Diego and Imperial Counties Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union
Teri Figueroa, North County Times, February 16, 2012

"We are doing an excellent job of coordinating resources when the offenders first hit the door.”
San Joaquin County Chief Probation Officer Patty Mazzilli
Stockton Record, Zachary K. Johnson, February 15, 2012

“Realignment is a marvelous approach. It's kind of a shake up to the existing system we have right now. This approach will reduce crime…They are our people, these are citizens of our county that in the past were sent off to prison and brought back in worse shape because nothing was done to address their underlying risk needs."
Fresno County Public Defender Ken Taniguchi
KFSN-TV Fresno, Gene Haagenson, February 8, 2012

"If California took the resources made available for prison expansion or realignment, and invested them in re-entry services, affordable housing and jobs and all of the programs that are being cut ... that's going to have much more impact on public safety than building law enforcement.”
Emily Harris, Statewide Coordinator for Californians United for a Responsible Budget
Daily Breeze, Christina Villacorte, January 25, 2012

“We’re going to make some adjustments, and sometimes they will be some fairly large adjustments. With sufficient resources, I do believe counties can and do already perform some of these services.”
Sacramento County Supervisor Don Nottoli
Elk Grove Citizen, Brian M. Gold, January 25, 2012

“As for prison realignment, we are just at the beginning. The cooperation of sheriffs, police chiefs, probation officers, district attorneys and local officials has been remarkable. But we have much to do to protect public safety and reduce recidivism.”
California Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. 2012 State of the State Address
January 18, 2012

“Gov. Jerry Brown's realignment already is having a positive impact on the statewide prison system.”
Merced Sun Star and Sacramento Bee Editorial Boards
Sacramento Bee, January 20, 2012
Merced Sun Star, January 23, 2012

"What it's doing is giving us control of the offenders who are committing crimes and living in our community. If we manage it correctly, manage it in the right way, it gives us a chance to do it better. It's in our power now. We are looking at it as an opportunity."
Shasta County Chief Probation Officer Wesley Forman
Redding Record-Searchlight, Ryan Sabalow, January 21, 2012

“It is hard enough to manage a prison population that, at one point, had ballooned to more than 160,000 inmates at 33 prisons. It is harder still when a federal judge and a court-appointed receiver are looking over your shoulder, and enjoy the support of a U.S. Supreme Court ruling to back them up. It's next to impossible to do all this in a state that is billions in the hole. Somehow California managed, and that accomplishment should not be overlooked or dismissed.”
Stockton Record Editorial Board
Stockton Record, January 20, 2012

“This is leveraging positive partnerships in keeping the county safe.”
(speaking on Placer County’s AB 109 plan) Rocklin Police Chief Ron Lawrence
Auburn Journal, Gus Thomson, January 11, 2012

“Realignment is an opportunity to re-examine how the justice system treats non-serious offenders. It goes beyond a desire to protect the public, the idea that we have to punish by keeping people in a cage for these low-level offenses is ... an expensive indulgence we can no longer afford."
Allen Hopper, Criminal Justice and Drug Policy Director for the American Civil Liberties Union in California,
North County Times, Brandon Lowrey, December 17, 2011

"This is a huge opportunity to take advantage of the many services and organizations in Alameda County"
(speaking on the county’s plan to use AB 109 funds to coordinate services for inmates)
Sumayyah Waheed, of the Ella Baker Center
San Jose Mercury News, Angela Woodall, December 11, 2011

“The local realignment plan – spearheaded by Chief San Joaquin County Probation Officer Patty Mazzilli – is something that will adequately deal with the supervision of released offenders, and covers all of the other needs to make sure that the county will be able to properly address the needs as they arise.”
(Speaking on the county’s AB 109 plan) San Joaquin County Sheriff Steve Moore
Manteca Bulletin, Jason Campbell, December 1, 2011

"We are going to be doing business differently, but I don't think that is necessarily a bad thing. The reality is that if you look at the way we have incarcerated people and the recidivism rate, we haven't been doing a very good job."
San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon
Associated Press, Don Thompson, November 30, 2011

“We as a county can actually manage these programs very well (but) funding is a major issue that has to be dealt with.”
Riverside County Chief Probation Officer Alan M. Crogan
Temecula Patch, Angela Davis, November 29, 2011

"I believe we can achieve the over-arching goal of reducing recidivism while maintaining public safety. This is only the beginning." Santa Cruz County Sheriff Phil Wowak.
Santa Cruz Sentinel, Stephen Baxter, November 7, 2011

“The hope is that instead of staying in prison, people will be released sooner and put on an alternative program that will give them treatment options that will be better for them in the long run. If Sonoma County is committed to getting people rehabilitated, this is an excellent opportunity to do that.” Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office Lieutenant Mike Toby.
Rohnert Park Patch, Angela Hart, September 28, 2011

"Up and down the state…there’s a lot of planning going on and a lot of discussion with sheriffs, and courts and community-based organizations, and (Realignment is) coming — we will take care of it. And come Oct. 1 we’ll be ready to go." Stanislaus County Chief Probation Officer, Jerry Powers.
KPCC, Julie Small, September 22, 2011

"We embraced the concept of realignment in January, and (Governor Brown) made good on his promise to ensure funding for this fiscal year. But there's still anxiety over the revenue stream without a state constitutional amendment to protect those funds, we need those protections and the governor has recommitted to ensuring the funding process will be there in perpetuity." Merced County Sheriff and President of the California State Sheriffs’ Association Mark Pazin.
Sacramento Bee, David Siders, September 22, 2011

“Realignment will be a tall order…but ultimately the counties are up to the task. We believe it can be done better at the local level. Not to be critical or adversarial with our state counterparts, but that’s just the way it is.” Merced County Sheriff and President of the California State Sheriffs’ Association Mark Pazin., Daniel Weintraub, September 21, 2011

"Provided adequate funding, (The counties) have the potential, I believe, to do much good." Riverside County Supervisor and President of the California State Association of Counties John Tavaglione
California State Association of Counties Convention, September 21, 2011.

Regarding county concerns over funding for Realignment- "I'm not leaving Sacramento until we get a constitutional guarantee (for funding). There are a lot of groups working on it, it'll come together, but we've got a few months before we have to nail it down." Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr.
California State Association of Counties Convention, September 21, 2011.

“(Solano County is) ready for the changes that this governor and this legislature are ready to put into place and to fund." State Senator Lois Wolk- Solano
The Reporter, Catherine Bowen, September 16, 2011.

"Corrections realignment does not ask counties to do more of what they had been doing. It asks that we do things differently. It's really bringing the right response, (and) the right program to the right problem, rather than a cookie-cutter approach that views each prisoner the same way.” Jeanne Woodford, former San Quentin Warden and keynote speaker at Solano County Reentry Council meeting.
The Reporter, Catherine Bowen, September 16, 2011.

“The population of offenders from Merced County is not going to grow. It’s not like this new population from another county or another jurisdiction are going to be in the county’s lap, these are people that are going to live in this county anyway. The increase in ex-inmates will be fairly small.” Scott Ball, Merced County Chief Probation Officer., Minerva Perez, September 14th, 2011.

"This isn't a brand new group of offenders coming to L.A. They've been coming here for years, so the fact that they're shipping to (the Probation Department) is not much change other than we hope for a better outcome." Donald Blevins, chief probation officer for Los Angeles County., Neil Nisperos, August 31, 2011

“I think we're going to have effective programs when (inmates are) in the jails, we're going to give them the treatment they need to change their behavior."  Donald Blevins, chief probation officer for Los Angeles County., Neil Nisperos, August 31, 2011

"For too long, the state’s prison system has been a revolving door for lower-level offenders and parole violators who are released within months—often before they are even transferred out of a reception center," Brown said in his AB 109 signing message. "Cycling these offenders through state prisons wastes money, aggravates crowded conditions, thwarts rehabilitation, and impedes local law enforcement supervision.” California Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr.
Press conference, April 2011

“The hope is that instead of staying in prison, people will be released sooner and put on an alternative program that will give them treatment options that will be better for them in the long run. If Sonoma County is committed to getting people rehabilitated, this is an excellent opportunity to do that.” - Sonoma County Sheriff’s Lieutenant Mike Toby 
Rohnert Park Patch, Karina Ioffee, 8/4/11

"There aren’t many people who go to prison and come out a better person, so to have fewer go and instead have incentive based programming, we will, unquestioningly, have better outcomes." - Sonoma County Deputy Chief Probation Officer Sheralynn Freitas.
Rohnert Park Patch, Karina Ioffee, 8/4/11

“These people are from Del Norte (referring to low-level offenders who will now go to county jail instead of state prison). This could be an advantage since the county already has information on them…our goal is to work on alternative sanctions without skipping accountability,” Del Norte County Chief Probation Officer Thomas Crowell.
Daily Triplicate, Megan Hansen 7/27/11

“I think we can do a better job at the county level…keeping these individuals closer to the community, keeping them closer to their families, and connecting them with community-based resources that they're going to need to be successful when they get out, because they are going to get out.” San Mateo County Sheriff Greg Munks.
PBS Newshour with Spencer Michaels 7/15/11

"…from a criminal justice and from a public safety perspective, I can absolutely say it is a very good state policy to do this shift." San Francisco County Chief Probation Officer Wendy Still
 San Francisco Chronicle, Rachel Gordon 7/24/11

"We feel that we can do a better job at the local level keeping people from going to prison." Los Angeles County Chief Probation Officer Donald Blevins.
Wall Street Journal, Bobby White and Vauhini Vara 8/10/11

"Quite frankly, I think the sheriff and probation chief will do a much better job with programming than the state does," Stanislaus County Sheriff Adam Christianson
Modesto Bee, Garth Stapley 7/25/11

"I really don't believe this population is all that different than those we already supervise." San Joaquin County Chief Probation Officer Patty Mazzilli
Stockton Record, Dana Nichols 8/2/11

"In October, our justice system will change dramatically. I am confident we will be ready, because the county and its partners already are hard at work developing a comprehensive plan to address the impacts of realignment." Placer County Chief Probation Officer Marshall Hopper
Public 8/1/11

”I like challenges. It's forcing everyone to look at what they are doing and to do those things better. It's an opportunity to refine what we're doing and choose what we focus on. We actually get to make decisions for Humboldt that make sense for Humboldt.” Humboldt County Chief Probation Officer Bill Damiano
Contra Costa Times, Matt Drange 7/23/11