After a 2011 California Supreme Court decision to reduce overcrowding, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation created a policy called prison realignment (bill AB 109) "which shifts the responsibility of custody, treatment, and supervision of individuals convicted of specified non-serious from the state to counties." [from Wikipedia]
What's the current situation?
In Oakland as of late 2013, we are in the process of creating an Alameda County Community Advisory Board that will give residents greater say in determining how to spend money that the county received from the state to carry out the policy.
What's at stake?
"Since 2011, nearly 25,000 inmates have been transferred from state prison back to their sentencing counties. Currently, the state is being directed by the court to return another 10,000 inmates to the counties, which receive millions of dollars to help support expanded capacities for services and custody as needed.
Additionally, AB 109 no longer allows county courts to set state prison terms for individuals found guilty of non-serious, non-violent and non sex-related felonies. Those convicted of these crimes must receive local services and serve any periods of confinement in county facilities.
The law mandates that each county develop a Community Corrections Partnership Executive Committee (CCP-EC) consisting of seven members, including county department heads, a police chief and representative of the courts.
This CCP-EC is charged with developing and implementing the county’s prison realignment policy as well as making budgetary recommendations to the Board of Supervisors on how to spend annual realignment funds from the state.
For fiscal year 2013-2014 those funds amount to nearly $34 million dollars for Alameda County.
After hearing repeated complaints from residents of the limited access to the process of planning for local realignment changes and that too much realignment funding was supporting law enforcement budgets rather than community-based services, the Board directed the CCP-EC to create a Community Advisory Board to enhance the public’s ability to participate in developing realignment policies and spending priorities."