BILL ANALYSIS Ó SENATE COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC SAFETY Senator Loni Hancock, Chair S 2013-2014 Regular Session B 2 2 5 SB 225 (Emmerson) As Amended April 1, 2013 Hearing date: April 23, 2013 Penal Code AA:mc CRIMINAL JUSTICE REALIGNMENT OF 2011: FELONY SENTENCES OF MORE THAN 3 YEARS HISTORY Source: Riverside County District Attorney Prior Legislation: SB 1441 (Emmerson) - failed passage Senate Public Safety, 2012 AB 109 (Committee on Budget) - Ch. 15, Stats. 2011 AB 117 (Committee on Budget) - Ch. 39, Stats. 2011 ABx1 17 (Blumenfield) - Ch. 12, Stats. 2011 AB 116 (Committee on Budget) - Ch. 136, Stats. 2011 Support: Sacramento County Board of Supervisors; Golden State Bail Agents Association; County of San Bernardino; Taxpayers for Improving Public Safety; California State Sheriffs' Association (in concept); California District Attorneys Association; League of California Cities; Crime Victims Action Alliance; Opposition:California Attorneys for Criminal Justice; California Public Defenders Association; American Civil Liberties Union (More) SB 225 (Emmerson) PageB KEY ISSUE SHOULD THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE REALIGNMENT OF 2011 BE REVISED TO REQUIRE THAT DEFENDANTS CONVICTED OF A FELONY AND SENTENCED TO AN AGGREGATE TERM OF MORE THAN THREE YEARS SERVE THAT SENTENCE IN PRISON, AS SPECIFIED? PURPOSE The purpose of this bill is to revise the criminal justice realignment of 2011 by requiring that defendants convicted of a felony and sentenced to an aggregate term of more than three years shall serve that sentence in prison, as specified. Current law generally provides that, for any person sentenced on or after October 1, 2011, certain felonies - those which by their statutory terms specifically so provide - are punishable by a term of imprisonment in a county jail, as specified. (Penal Code § 1170(h).) Current law provides that, notwithstanding this general provision, where a defendant meets any of the following criteria an executed sentence for a felony punishable pursuant to this subdivision shall be served in state prison: the defendant has a prior or current felony conviction for a serious felony described in subdivision (c) of Section 1192.7; the defendant has a prior or current conviction for a violent felony described in subdivision (c) of Section 667.5; the defendant has a prior felony conviction in another jurisdiction for an offense that has all of the elements of a serious felony described in subdivision (c) of Section 1192.7 or a violent felony described in subdivision (c) of Section 667.5; (More) SB 225 (Emmerson) PageC the defendant is required to register as a sex offender, as specified; or the defendant is convicted of a crime and as part of the sentence an enhancement pursuant to Section 186.11 is imposed. (Penal Code § 1170(h)(3).) This bill would amend this provision to provide in addition that where a defendant has been convicted of a felony or felonies punishable pursuant to this subdivision and is sentenced to an aggregate term of more than three years, the sentence shall be served in state prison, as specified.<1> RECEIVERSHIP/OVERCROWDING CRISIS AGGRAVATION For the last several years, severe overcrowding in California's prisons has been the focus of evolving and expensive litigation relating to conditions of confinement. On May 23, 2011, the United States Supreme Court ordered California to reduce its prison population to 137.5 percent of design capacity within two years from the date of its ruling, subject to the right of the state to seek modifications in appropriate circumstances. Beginning in early 2007, Senate leadership initiated a policy to hold legislative proposals which could further aggravate the prison overcrowding crisis through new or expanded felony prosecutions. Under the resulting policy known as "ROCA" (which stands for "Receivership/ Overcrowding Crisis Aggravation"), the Committee held measures which created a new felony, expanded the scope or penalty of an existing felony, or otherwise increased the application of a felony in a manner which could exacerbate the prison overcrowding crisis. Under these principles, ROCA was applied as a content-neutral, provisional measure necessary to ensure that the Legislature did not erode progress towards reducing prison overcrowding by passing legislation which would increase the prison population. ROCA necessitated many hard and difficult decisions for the Committee. In January of 2013, just over a year after the enactment of the --------------------------- <1> See Comment 1 concerning amendments the author intends to submit in Committee. (More) SB 225 (Emmerson) PageD historic Public Safety Realignment Act of 2011, the State of California filed court documents seeking to vacate or modify the federal court order issued by the Three-Judge Court three years earlier to reduce the state's prison population to 137.5 percent of design capacity. The State submitted in part that the, ". . . population in the State's 33 prisons has been reduced by over 24,000 inmates since October 2011 when public safety realignment went into effect, by more than 36,000 inmates compared to the 2008 population . . . , and by nearly 42,000 inmates since 2006 . . . ." Plaintiffs, who opposed the state's motion, argue in part that, "California prisons, which currently average 150% of capacity, and reach as high as 185% of capacity at one prison, continue to deliver health care that is constitutionally deficient." In an order dated January 29, 2013, the federal court granted the state a six-month extension to achieve the 137.5 % prisoner population cap by December 31st of this year. In an order dated April 11, 2013, the Three-Judge Court denied the state's motions, and ordered the state of California to "immediately take all steps necessary to comply with this Court's . . . Order . . . requiring defendants to reduce overall prison population to 137.5% design capacity by December 31, 2013." The ongoing litigation indicates that prison capacity and related issues concerning conditions of confinement remain unresolved. However, in light of the real gains in reducing the prison population that have been made, although even greater reductions are required by the court, the Committee will review each ROCA bill with more flexible consideration. The following questions will inform this consideration: whether a measure erodes realignment; whether a measure addresses a crime which is directly dangerous to the physical safety of others for which there is no other reasonably appropriate sanction; whether a bill corrects a constitutional infirmity or legislative drafting error; whether a measure proposes penalties which are proportionate, and cannot be achieved through any other (More) SB 225 (Emmerson) PageE reasonably appropriate remedy; and whether a bill addresses a major area of public safety or criminal activity for which there is no other reasonable, appropriate remedy. COMMENTS 1. Author's Amendments The author intends to amend this bill in Committee to enact a new statute requiring the Secretary of the Department of Corrections to transfer inmates who have six months or less remaining to be served on their sentences to a county jail where the inmate has been assessed by a validated risk instrument as being a low risk to harm other people or to reoffend. The author intends that the bill be amended to provide that for each of these prison inmates accepted into a county jail, an inmate with more than three years of incarceration remaining to be served on his or her sentence shall be transferred to CDCR for the remainder of his or her term. These amendments would provide that the costs of incarcerating any prison inmate transferred to a county under these provisions would be covered by the county, and that the costs of incarcerating any county jail felon transferred under these provisions to prison would be covered by the state. 2. Stated Need for This Bill The author states: Under realignment, low-level offenders are being shifted from prisons to local jails. As it stands, approximately 32 counties are faced with overcrowding or court-imposed caps on jail populations. Therefore, the realignment population shift is causing our local jails to be even more over crowed than before. Furthermore, California's jails were not built or (More) SB 225 (Emmerson) PageF designed to house prisoners for long periods of time. 3. What This Bill Would Do As explained above, as currently in print this bill would change provisions in the 2011 criminal justice realignment concerning which felonies must be served in prison. Specifically, this bill would widen the category of which executed felony sentences must be served in state prison - not county jail - by providing that sentences of an aggregate of more than 3 years must be served in state prison. Under current law, there is no term-based threshold for which felonies must be served in prison or jail. As amended in Committee, this bill also would provide a mechanism for CDCR to transfer low-risk inmates out of prison and into jail during the last six months of their time in prison in exchange for a jail felon who has more than 3 years remaining on his or her felony sentence. 4. Felony Sentencing Under the Criminal Justice Realignment of 2011 The "2011 Realignment Legislation Addressing Public Safety" ("criminal justice realignment") fundamentally altered how convicted felons are handled under California law.<2> Under California law operative until October 1, 2011, a felony was a --------------------------- <2> AB 109 (Committee on Budget) (Ch. 15, Stats. 2011) is the principal measure establishing the 2011 public safety realignment. As noted at the beginning of this analysis, several subsequent measures revised AB 109 and enacted additional provisions relating to certain aspects of realignment. (More) SB 225 (Emmerson) PageG crime punishable by death or imprisonment in state prison.<3> Effective October 1, 2011, criminal justice realignment redefined the term "felony" to include crimes punishable by imprisonment in a county jail, as specified, depending upon the criminal history of the offender.<4> As explained in a January 2012, article describing felony sentencing after realignment: With respect to felony sentencing, it appears the intent of the realignment legislation is merely to change the place where sentences for certain crimes are to be served. The legislation has not changed the basic rules regarding probation eligibility. Courts retain the discretion to place people on probation, unless otherwise specifically prohibited, under the law that existed prior to the realignment legislation. There is no intent to change the basic rules regarding the structure of a felony sentence contained in sections 1170 and 1170.1. Furthermore, there is no change in the length of term or sentencing triad for any crime. Realignment comes into play when the court determines the defendant should not be granted probation, either at the initial sentencing or as a result of a probation violation.<5> The confinement changes under criminal justice realignment - --------------------------- <3> Penal Code § 17. This classification does not affect the ability of the court to suspend execution of a felony sentence and impose conditions of probation where allowable, supervised and performed locally. (See Penal Code § 1203.1.) A misdemeanor is a crime punishable by imprisonment by 6 months or not more than one year. (Penal Code §§ 19 and 19.2.) <4> Penal Code § 17. <5> Felony Sentencing After Realignment, J. Richard Couzens, Judge of the Superior Court, County of Placer (Ret.); Tricia A. Bigelow, Presiding Justice, Court of Appeal, 2nd Appellate District, Div. 8, p. 3 (January 2012). (http://www.courts.ca.gov/partners/documents/felony_sentencing.pd f.) (More) SB 225 (Emmerson) PageH that is, modifications to where felons serve their executed felony sentences in custody, either in state prison or in local facilities - apply to persons sentenced on or after October 1, 2011. These changes are not retroactive.<6> Criminal justice realignment provides that numerous felonies are punishable by a term of imprisonment in county jail - not prison - unless the crime of conviction or a defendant's criminal history makes the defendant ineligible for serving their felony sentence in jail.<7> This change, contained in subdivision (h) of Penal Code section 1170, applies only to criminal statutes which have been expressly amended to provide for a felony jail term where otherwise allowable.<8> Certain felons are categorically prohibited from serving an executed felony sentence in county jail. The following persons are statutorily ineligible to serve any executed felony sentence in county jail: --------------------------- <6> Paragraph (6) of subdivision (h) of Section 1170 of the Penal Code states: "The sentencing changes made by the act that added this subdivision shall be applied prospectively to any person sentenced on or after October 1, 2011." With the exception of the role of courts in adjudicating parole violations, which starts on July 1, 2013, the major criminal law provisions of realignment became operative on and after October 1, 2011. <7> Just like the law prior to realignment about the length of terms, if a term is not specified in the underlying offense the crime shall be punishable by a term of imprisonment for 16 months, or two or three years and, for crimes where the underlying criminal statute specifies the term, the felony shall be punishable by imprisonment for the term described in the underlying offense. (See Penal Code § 18 and Penal Code Section 1170(h). ) <8> This feature of criminal justice realignment - that its newly-created felony jail sanction can be applied only to those criminal statutes expressly amended to include a cross-reference authorizing that sanction - largely accounts for the length of AB 109 (663 pages). (More) SB 225 (Emmerson) PageI The defendant has a prior or current felony conviction for: o a serious felony described in subdivision (c) of Section 1192.7, or o a violent felony described in subdivision (c) of Section 667.5; The defendant has a prior felony conviction in another jurisdiction for an offense that has all the elements of a serious or violent felony in California, as specified; The defendant is required to register as a sex offender; or The defendant is convicted of a crime and as part of the sentence receives an aggravated theft enhancement, as specified.<9> This bill would alter how felony sentencing is handled under realignment by providing that felony sentences of an aggregate term of more than 3 years must be served in state prison. For convicted felony offenders subject to confinement in a county jail, courts are authorized to impose the felony sentence to commit a defendant to county jail as follows: For a full term in custody as determined in accordance with the applicable sentencing law. For a term as determined in accordance with the applicable sentencing law, but suspend execution of a concluding portion of the term selected in the court's discretion, during which time the defendant shall be supervised by the county probation officer in accordance with the terms, conditions, and procedures generally applicable to persons placed on probation, for the remaining unserved portion of the sentence imposed by the court. The period of supervision shall be mandatory, and may not be earlier terminated except by court order. During the period when the defendant is under such supervision, unless in actual custody related to the sentence imposed by the court, the defendant shall be -------------------------- <9> Penal Code § 1170(h) (3), as amended in Sections 450 and 451 of AB 109. (More) SB 225 (Emmerson) PageJ entitled to only actual time credit against the term of imprisonment imposed by the court.<10> As noted by Judge Couzens and Justice Bigelow: Sentences imposed under section 1170, subdivision (h)(5)(B), have been characterized as "split" or "blended" sentences because they have both custody and non-custody elements. The length and circumstances of the suspended term are within the court's discretion; presumably the court could suspend all or only a portion of the sentence. There are many sentencing strategies available to the court, depending on the defendant's circumstances, hopefully enlightened by a current risk/needs assessment done by the probation department. The following represent just a few of the options available to the court: The court could impose a term from the triad, suspend a concluding portion of the term and set conditions of supervision. Such an alternative may be appropriate when the time in custody will be relatively short such that the case plan developed at sentencing will be reasonably current when the defendant converts to mandatory supervision. The court could impose a term from the triad, suspend a concluding portion of the term, but reserve jurisdiction to set the conditions of supervision shortly before the defendant is released from custody. Such an alternative may be appropriate when the court realizes that supervision is necessary, but because of a lengthy custody period may want to have a new risk/needs assessment at the time the defendant is ready to be released. Such a strategy will account for the changing nature of defendant's risk and will make the case plan more relevant to --------------------- <10> Penal Code § 1170(h) (5). (More) SB 225 (Emmerson) PageK defendant's actual circumstances at the time he is ready for release. The court could choose to impose a sentence under the provisions of section 1170, subdivision (h)(5)(B), but reserve jurisdiction to set the actual time and conditions of release at a later time. Such a strategy might be appropriate where the court wants to give the defendant encouragement to complete various custody programs and do well in custody, then set relevant terms when the court determines release is appropriate.<11> The Chief Probation Officers of California has compiled data regarding sentencing decisions for felons sentenced under Penal Code section 1170(h).<12> Their data indicates that between October 2011 and September 2011, 7,006 felons sentenced under section 1170(h) were given split sentences, and 22,021 were given jail time only. Thus, only about 25 percent of jail felony offenders received split sentences during the first year of realignment. Members may wish to discuss whether the use of split sentencing matters in terms of the incidence of very long jail felony sentences. Based on survey data provided by the California State Sheriffs' Association, Los Angeles County reports that as of February of this year, it had 389 inmates in its jails sentenced to between 5 and 10 years, and another 20 sentenced to more than 10 years. For the first year of realignment, only 5% of jail felons in Los Angeles County were given split sentences. Riverside County reports that in the same timeframe, it had 62 jail inmates sentenced to between 5 and 10 years, and 1 inmate who was sentenced to more than 10 years in county jail. For the first year of realignment, 67 percent of jail felons in Riverside were given split sentences. Kern County saw 13 --------------------------- <11> Felony Sentencing After Realignment, supra fn.4, at p. 8. <12> http://www.cpoc.org/assets/Realignment/splitsentencedashboard.swf . (More) SB 225 (Emmerson) PageL percent of jail felons given split jail felony sentences in the first year of realignment, and housed 54 inmates with sentences for 5-10 years, and one sentenced to more than 10 years. With 24 percent split sentenced jail felony offenders, San Diego reports 145 inmates with 5-10 year sentences, and 2 inmates sentenced to more than 10 years. For the same period, Alameda County reports that it has no inmates sentenced to more than 10 years, and 10 inmates with sentences ranging from 5 to 10 years. Eight percent of Alameda's jail felons were given split sentences in the first year of realignment. Contra Costa County, which shows 86% of its jail felons receiving split sentences, indicated in the CSSA survey that it has no inmates with terms exceeding three years.<13> TO WHAT EXTENT DOES (OR COULD) SPLIT SENTENCING USAGE AFFECT THE INCIDENCE OF VERY LONG JAIL FELONY SENTENCES? 5. Reports of Very Long Jail Felony Sentences Since the enactment of realignment in October of 2011, there have been anecdotal and press reports of very long felony --------------------------- <13> The survey notes that Contra Costa's longest inmate term has been 3.2 years so far. (More) SB 225 (Emmerson) PageN sentences required to be served in county jail.<14> In addition to issues surrounding jail overcrowding, these reports accompany emerging issues concerning the conditions of jails, and their capacity to house and manage long term offenders. In a recent editorial supporting the term-based limitation on jail felonies proposed by this bill, the Press-Enterprise noted in part: California needs a better solution to the state's prison ills than merely shifting that mess onto county government. But the lawsuits now hitting counties over jail conditions offer an unpleasant echo of the state's corrections travails. And the legal cases offer yet more evidence that legislators need to revamp the state's criminal justice realignment. Riverside County this week became the latest target of a class-action lawsuit over county jails. The lawsuit, filed by attorneys on behalf of three inmates, claims the county jails provide inadequate mental and physical health care. The lawyers in the case are the same ones who sued the state corrections system, ultimately leading to a 2009 federal court order to shrink the state prison population. Other counties, including Fresno and Alameda, face similar cases, with more lawsuits in other counties on the way. . . . Counties face lawsuits primarily because county jails were never intended for long-term incarceration, or the health care, education and other services that such confinement requires. Inmates with long sentences also take up space counties need for other offenders. Many counties already faced court-ordered population caps even before the state pushed thousands of felons into county jails. The jail space crunch also hinders parole supervision, because incarceration ---------------------- <14> For example: "Javier Miranda was arrested last November while driving a truck full of methamphetamine up Interstate 5. After a short trial, he received an 18-year sentence - but he won't go to prison. Instead, Miranda will serve his time in county jail. The length of Miranda's sentence is an unusual but not a unique result of prison "realignment." Counties throughout California are now tasked with housing and rehabilitating prisoners classified as non-serious, non-violent and non-sexual, no matter the length of their sentence in their jail. Before realignment, prisoners like Miranda would likely have faced prison time. . . . There is a difference between spending 18, seven or even two years in county jail as opposed to prison. Jails often lack the necessary resources for longer stays, such as medical care and other social services programs that help rehabilitate prisoners. . . . Miranda is the first person in Merced County to be handed such a long jail sentence. Merced County Chief Deputy District Attorney Harold Nutt was the prosecutor in Miranda's case and said the 18 years - four years for the principal charge, 10 for weight of drugs he was transporting (10 kilos), three years for a prior prison term for a similar drug-related offense and one year for a prior prison term - fit the crime. Realignment, he said, took away a hammer that law enforcement once had to hold people accountable. Prison, he said, used to be a real threat to individuals looking to offend and re-offend. Without the option of prison, county jails will increasingly have to bear the burden of long sentences. "This is highly unusual," he said of Miranda's 18 years in jail. But, he added, "It wouldn't be inconceivable to sentence someone to seven or eight years. Realignment changed the way everybody looks at things." Merced is not the only county that has seen jail sentences of longer than a year. The longest in Contra Costa County so far is five years. In San Bernardino the longest sentence was 10 years, and in Riverside, 14 years. Santa Barbara County jail holds one inmate sentenced to 23 years. Long jail sentences have mostly been in Southern California, said Pazin, who is also president of the California Sheriff's Association. That area of the state also has the largest population, he noted. How many years of their sentence that these inmates will actually serve behind bars depends on the respective county's resources and realignment plan. Miranda is going to be in custody in Merced's jail for at least two years, according to Antoinette Murillo, public information officer for Merced County Corrections Department. He'll spend another couple of years on electronic monitoring before going under the supervision of probation, she said. Miranda has a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement hold, she noted, which also might affect what happens to him once he is released from jail. Barely a year into realignment, multi-year sentencing is an unintended consequence of reform, Pazin said. He added that he and his colleagues hope to discuss the possibility of a legislative remedy to the problem with Gov. Jerry Brown in the future. In the meantime, he said, "We are hoping that this won't become a trend." Realignment Results in Lengthy Jail Sentences, M. Perez, California Health Report (http://www.healthycal. org/archives/8196.) (More) SB 225 (Emmerson) PageO is a hollow threat when jails have no room for parole violators. . . .<15> As discussed above, the California State Sheriffs' Association conducted a survey regarding numbers of long-term offenders in county jail. CSSA summarizes this data as follows: Below is a short summary of the information collected as of 2/25/13: Number of county jail inmates sentenced 5-10 years = 1109 Number of county jail inmates sentenced to over 10 years = 44 Most common crimes for those sentenced to 5-10 years = vehicle theft, drug trafficking, receiving stolen property, identity theft, commercial burglary. Largest number of crimes for over 10 years = drug trafficking. However, over 10 years is not exclusively drug trafficking. For example, Solano County sentenced someone for multiple thefts w/ theft priors for 10.5 years and Riverside County sentenced someone for 12 years, 8 months for multiple counts of felony child abuse (PC 273d). Longest sentence = 43 years (Los Angeles) Breakdown in Los Angeles - 92% sentenced to 3-years or less. 2% sentenced to more than 5 years. Survey data is from 52 counties. In the last five years the state has provided significant support to counties seeking to improve their jail conditions and capacity. The Legislative Analyst's Office ("LAO") provided an update on this funding in its February 2013 analysis of the Governor's criminal justice proposals, including the following: --------------------------- <15> Press-Enterprise Editorial: State needs to revamp prison realignment (March 23, 2012), http://www.pe.com/ opinion /editorials-headlines/20130323-editorial-state-needs-to-revamp-pr ison-realignment.ece (More) SB 225 (Emmerson) PageP Since 2007, the Legislature has approved two measures authorizing a total of $1.7 billion in lease-revenue bonds to fund the construction and modification of county jails. Assembly Bill 900 provided $1.2 billion to help counties address jail overcrowding. Chapter 42, Statutes of 2012 (SB 1022, Committee on Budget and Fiscal Review), authorized an additional $500 million to help counties construct and modify jails to accommodate longer-term inmates who would be shifted to county responsibility under the 2011 realignment of lower-level offenders.<16> SB 1022, last year's measure which included $500 million in lease-revenue bonds for county jails, including the following legislative intent language: In support of this state financing, the Legislature finds and declares all of the following: (a) The county adult criminal justice system needs more housing, program, and treatment space to manage the adult offender population under its jurisdiction. (b) Appropriate county adult criminal justice housing, program, and treatment space will enhance public safety throughout the state by providing increased access to appropriate programs or treatment. (c) By expanding county adult criminal justice capacity, this financing will serve a critical state purpose by promoting public safety. (More) ---------------------- <16> Legislative Analyst's Office, The 2013-14 Budget: Governor's Criminal Justice Proposals 9Feb. 15, 2013; http://www.lao.ca.gov/analysis/2013/crim_justice/criminal-justice -proposals/criminal-justice-proposals-021513.aspx (d) This purpose represents valuable consideration in exchange for this state action.<17> This legislation also included statutory guidance for funding consideration which reflects an understanding of the need for local custodial space which can provide treatment, rehabilitation and mental health services: Funding consideration shall be given to counties that are seeking to replace existing compacted, outdated, or unsafe housing capacity or are seeking to renovate existing or build new facilities that provide adequate space for the provision of treatment and rehabilitation services, including mental health treatment.<18> In addition to these state bonds, as part of realignment the state shifted certain revenues to local governments. As explained by the LAO: . . . (T)he 2011-12 budget package included statutory changes to realign several criminal justice and other programs from state responsibility to local governments, primarily counties. Along with the shift-or realignment-of programs, state law realigned revenues to locals. Specifically, current law shifts a share of the state sales tax, as well as Vehicle License Fee revenue, to local governments. The passage of Proposition 30 by voters in November 2012, among other changes, guaranteed these revenues to local governments in the future. The Governor's budget includes an estimate of revenues projected to go to local governments over the next few years. These estimates are generally in line with prior estimates. . . . (T)otal funding for the criminal justice programs realigned is expected to increase from $1.4 billion in 2011-12 to $2.2 billion in ---------------------- ---------------------- <17> SB 1022, Ch. 42, Stats. 2012. <18> Id., Government Code § 15820.926. (More) SB 225 (Emmerson) PageR SB 225 (Emmerson) PageS 2013-14.<19> This bill does not make any changes to the funding realigned pursuant to realignment and guaranteed to local governments by Proposition 30. Members may wish to discuss the fiscal implications of "re-realigning" some of the felon population now subject to incarceration at the local level back to the state without a readjustment to the revenue shifts that were part of realignment. SHOULD JAIL FELONIES BE LIMITED TO SENTENCING TERMS THAT ARE LESS THAN THREE YEARS IN THE AGGREGATE? SHOULD SOME OF THE FELONS REALIGNED UNDER AB 109 BE "RE-REALIGNED" BACK TO THE STATE? SHOULD REALIGNED FELONS BE "RE-REALIGNED" TO THE STATE WITHOUT AN ADJUSTMENT TO THE FUNDING REALIGNED TO LOCAL GOVERNMENTS? HOW WOULD THE AUTHOR'S PROPOSED AMENDMENTS AFFECT THESE ISSUES? 6. Prison Population Considerations This bill would result in more felons serving their custodial time in prison. Committee staff is unaware of data estimating the impact of this particular bill on the prison population and the state's ability to make progress on meeting the reductions ordered by the court in Plata. The overall estimated impact of realignment on the state's prison population is noted in a Legislative Analyst's Office's February 2013 analysis of the Governor's budget proposals: The average daily prison population is projected to be about 129,000 inmates in 2013-14, a decline of roughly 3,600 inmates (3 percent) from the estimated current-year level. This decline is largely due to the 2011 realignment of lower-level felons from state to local responsibility. Although decreasing, the projected ---------------------- <19> See footnote 16, supra. SB 225 (Emmerson) PageT inmate population for 2013-14 is still about 3,200 inmates higher than was projected by CDCR in spring 2012. According to the department, this is due in part to higher-than-expected admissions to state prison.<20> TO WHAT EXTENT WOULD THIS BILL IMPACT THE PRISON POPULATION? TO WHAT EXTENT WOULD THIS BILL IMPACT THE FEDERAL COURT ORDER PERTAINING TO THE PRISON POPULATION? TO WHAT EXTENT WOULD THIS BILL ERODE REALIGNMENT? TO WHAT EXTENT WOULD THE AUTHOR'S AMENDMENTS PROVIDING FOR LOW-RISK PRISON INMATES TO BE TRANSFERRED TO LOCAL CUSTODY FOR THE LAST 6 MONTHS OF THEIR PRISON TERM IN EXCHANGE FOR A JAIL FELON WITH 3 OR MORE YEARS LEFT ON A JAIL FELONY TERM MITIGATE THE POTENTIAL PRISON POPULATION ISSUES PRESENTED BY THIS BILL? *************** --------------------------- <20> Id.