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NCJ Number: NCJ 242579     Find in a Library
Title: Looking Past the Hype: 10 Questions Everyone Should Ask About California's Prison Realignment
  Document URL: PDF 
Author(s): Joan Petersilia ; Jessica Greenlick Snyder
  Journal: California Journal of Politics and Policy  Volume:5  Issue:2  Dated:2013  Pages:266 to 306
Date Published: 2013
Page Count: 41
  Annotation: Recognizing that the massive restructuring of California’s criminal justice system under the State’s 2011 Criminal Justice Realignment Act has not been evaluated for its impact, this article recommends evaluation criteria.
Abstract: The restructuring shifted discretion for managing lower level offenders from the State to the county. In the first 2 years of the restructuring, the California legislature allocated approximately $2 billion for local programs, and it altered sentences for about 100,000 offenders. Although this reform was the largest penal experiment in modern history, no funding was allotted for an evaluation of the realignment’s impact on crime, incarceration, justice agencies, or recidivism. This article proposes 10 key questions that should be answered in a comprehensive evaluation of the realignment’s impact. (1) Have prison populations been reduced and inmate health care improved so as to bring prison medical care in compliance with a constitutional standard? (2) What is the impact of the restructuring on victim rights and safety? (3) Do more offenders participate in treatment programs, and has recidivism been reduced? (4) Is there equitable sentencing and treatment across counties? (5) What is the impact on jail crowding, conditions, and litigation? (6) What is the impact on police, prosecution, defense, and judges? (7) What is the impact on probation and parole? (8) What is the impact on crime rates and community life? (9) How much will realignment cost and who pays? (10) Has the number of people under criminal justice supervision increased? 1 table and 4 figures
Main Term(s): Correctional reform
Index Term(s): Evaluation criteria ; Intergovernmental relations ; Criminal justice system reform ; California ; Performance Measures
Type: Program/Project Evaluation
Country: United States of America
Language: English
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