Thursday, March 8, 2012

What They're Saying About Realignment

Local and State leaders talk about the Public Safety Realignment

Sacramento Chief Probation Officer Don Meyer
“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 crime 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.”
(Source: Sacramento Bee, Sam Stanton, March 5, 2012)

Legislative Analyst’s Office
“(Realignment) has the potential to create a more efficient and effective statewide criminal justice system."
(Source: “The 2012-2013 Budget: The 2011 Realignment of Adult Offenders Report, Legislative Analyst’s Office, February 22, 2012”. The LAO is a nonpartisan office that provides fiscal and policy information and advice to the Legislature).

 Ventura County Deputy Probation Officer Jim Davis
“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.”
(Source: VC Reporter, Shane Cohn, February 23, 2012)

Pam Whalen, criminal justice organizer for the American Civil Liberties Union
“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.”
 (Source:, Minerva Perez, February 21, 2012)

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

Kevin Keenan, Executive Director of San Diego and Imperial Counties Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union
“(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.”
(Source: Teri Figueroa, North County Times, February 16, 2012)

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

Fresno County Public Defender Ken Taniguchi
“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."
(Source: KFSN-TV Fresno, Gene Haagenson, February 8, 2012)

For more "What They're Saying" quotes, visit CDCR's Realignment webpage: