News Releases

What They’re Saying About Realignment

Public officials and advocates talk about the 2011 Public Safety Realignment, here’s what they’re saying…

“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.”  
California 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.”  
California 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. 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, August 4, 2011

“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, August 4, 2011

“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, July 27, 2011

“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, July 15, 2011

“…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, July 24, 2011

“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, August 10, 2011

“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, July 25, 2011

“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, August 2, 2011

“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, August 1, 2011

”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, July 23, 2011