Public Safety & Justice

California Struggles With Experiment to Shift Inmates

The shift in California's penal system, referred to as "realignment," is one of the nation's largest criminal justice experiments and has done its job in at least one respect: The population in the state's 33 adult prisons has dropped so much that the system now ranks second to Texas in the number of inmates.
May 14, 2013

The shift in California's penal system, referred to as "realignment," is one of the nation's largest criminal justice experiments and has done its job in at least one respect: The population in the state's 33 adult prisons has dropped so much that the system now ranks second to Texas in the number of inmates.

Despite that success, many law enforcement officials, victims' rights groups and Republican lawmakers say crime has increased because of the governor's realignment law, as the wave of new inmates arriving in some county jails is leading to overcrowded conditions and the early release of dangerous felons.

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