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Public Safety Realignment – What is it?, CPOC, 2012

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changes occurring in the wake of the new sentencing options; however, prior to October,
there had already been a trend of decreasing felony probation grants. It is expected that
Realignment will have an impact on regular felony grants of probation, but it is too early to
draw conclusions. The first six months of Realignment has already seen some decline in
total 1170(h) sentencing, and the relationship between 1170(h) sentencing and traditional
probation will be an area for further study. As with other parts of Realignment, there is great
variability when looking at this from a regional and county-by-county perspective.

Public Safety Realignment – What is it?

To interact with the statewide data from this report in a dashboard:
http://www.cpoc.org/php/realign/dashboardinfo/dashboard.swf

In 2009, Senate Bill 678 supported probation departments’ use of evidence based practices
to achieve greater success with their offenders. To the extent fewer probationers fail and
are sentenced to state prison, the state achieves significant savings. The act mandated
the state share between 40-45% of the savings with counties who were successful at
reducing the rate at which they revoke probationers to state prisons. After the first year of
implementation in 2010, probation departments reduced their revocations to state prison
by 23%, from baseline years of 2006-2008. Fifty county probation departments used
Senate Bill 678 funds to invest in practices that reduce recidivism, such as risk-needs
assessment, and the targeted lowering of caseload ratios for high risk offenders.4 These
efforts allowed probation departments to create foundational pieces that prepared them as
they were presented with the challenges of Realignment. Building on these strategies from
this program, and broadening the lessons to the greater county’s efforts through its CCP
(as envisioned by Realignment legislation) could lead to similar success with the newly
realigned population. This could generate county general fund savings when local programs
are successful in reducing recidivism and preventing excessive increases in jail population.

Future Editions
of Realignment
Perspectives
• 	A Closer Look at
Split Sentences
• 	Regional
Perspectives
on PRCS
Supervision
• 	PRCS Offender
Outcomes

To obtain the county level data: http://www.bscc.ca.gov/resources

What’s Next?
The $375 million allocated to Realignment in year one will be followed by an allocation
of $842 million in year two. Protecting this funding on an ongoing basis is imperative to
ensure that strategies planned by CCPs can be implemented, and allowed to bear fruit.
Each county has established a Community Corrections Partnership of key criminal justice,
health, human service, and education leaders to work as a collaborative group to put actions
to strategies. In addition, probation departments across the state have imposed upon
themselves a statewide data collection effort. As more data is gathered we will be able to
analyze how probation strategies will benefit local communities and the state, by working to
ensure public safety and improve offender outcomes, in a cost effective way.

For questions about this report,
please contact Cpoc@cpoc.org,
or visit our website at
http://cpoc.org/php/realign/ab109home.php
Chief Probation
Officers of
California

CPOC would like to thank

The James Irvine Foundation
for its support of data collection
and the publication of this report.

County Re-alignment plans can be found at http://cpoc.org/php/realign/countyplans.php.
2
http://www.cdcr.ca.gov/COMPSTAT/docs/DAPO/COMPSTAT_DAPO_Statistical_Report_04_12.pdf
3
http://oag.ca.gov/sites/all/files/pdfs/cjsc/prof10/table6.pdf?
4
http://www.courts.ca.gov/documents/SB678-Year-1-Report-FINAL.pdf
1

CPOC Issue Brief 	

5	

July 2012

CPOC Issue Brief 	

6	

1415 L Street, Ste. 1000
Sacramento, CA 95814
(916) 447-2762

July 2012

CPOC Issue Brief 	

California enacted historic criminal justice system changes to respond
to a variety of factors present in 2011: a significant U.S. Supreme
Court decision which could have led to arbitrary early release of tens
of thousands of prison inmates; years of state and local government
budget deficits; and an unacceptably high recidivism rate for criminal
offenders. The plan resulted in what is commonly called “Public Safety
Realignment,” enacted through California Assembly bills AB 109
and AB 117. As a result, in the first six months of Realignment, over
38,000 individuals who would have been the responsibility of the State
prior to these changes were instead being supervised and housed by
local county probation and sheriff departments.
Instead of serving their parole time on state parole jurisdiction, 23,000
are now under the supervision of local probation departments as
“Post Release Community Supervision” (PRCS) offenders. These
individuals are eligible for local supervision if their most recent
conviction was a non-violent, non-serious, and non-sexual offense.
It is important to note that while the PRCS population may not have
a recent conviction of a serious, violent or sex offense many are still
assessed as high risk. These offenders could also have a sex offense
in their criminal history and be placed on PRCS as long as they are
not currently assessed as a high risk sex offender. While probation
departments are equipped to handle this population, they often fall into
a high need and higher level of supervision.
In addition to those being supervised by probation as a PRCS, an
additional 15,000 offenders are serving their sentences in local jails,
rather than state prison, under the new Penal Code section 1170(h).
Many of these offenders will eventually serve a portion of their local
time under the supervision of the probation department, on “Mandatory
Supervision” (MS). It is clear that Realignment is dramatically
changing criminal justice in California with the state prison population
under 140,000 for the first time since 1996, and the state parole
supervision population is under 70,000. The key question moving
forward -- how are communities responding to the populations that
are no longer under the state responsibility and must be addressed
locally?
Every community has the flexibility to develop their local Realignment
plan, and collect their data in a manner that addresses local priorities
and needs. In order to best measure, plan, and manage this historic

1	

July 2012

change, the Chief Probation Officers of California (CPOC) agreed to
collect data from all 58 counties. It is with recognition of the significance
of this change that all counties agreed to collect common information,
to ensure statewide understanding of Realignment impacts, and inform
further policy decisions. This brief is the first of a series that will analyze
trends and outcomes as Realignment progresses.

Realignment and Probation’s Role

Post Release
Community
Supervision
(PRCS)
is provided by
local Probation
Departments.
Eligible offenders
who would have
previously been
under parole
supervision will
now be supervised
by Probation.
PRCS can last for
up to 3 years, but
can end earlier if
the offender does
not violate terms
of supervision
resulting in a
return to custody.

The expansion of local control and resources provides counties with
an opportunity to improve offender outcomes. In addition to saving
lives and preventing future victims, lowering criminal recidivism saves
taxpayer dollars, by reducing societal costs of crime, and costly
attempts to address criminality. To respond to this significant change,
localities have created collaborative decision making bodies known
as Community Corrections Partnerships (CCPs), chaired by the
county Probation Chief. These bodies bring together county and other
agencies to develop local fiscal and strategic policies, based on local
realities. CCPs assist jurisdictions by ensuring that justice agencies
work together in the creation of county plans, and by supporting the
delivery of practices that have been scientifically shown to reduce risk,
and improve outcomes.1

Post Release Community Supervision Offenders
As part of the AB109
planning process,
each county received
estimates of the number
of offenders anticipated
to be placed on PRCS
in their communities
after serving their full
prison term.
Data for the first six months demonstrates that, on a statewide basis,
the estimates closely approximated the actual numbers (23,100
predicted by the state, compared to 22,500 actual releases). However,
the statewide average obscures the experiences of individual counties.
As shown in Figure 1, counties in California’s central region received
8% more offenders than expected, while counties in the Sacramento
and Bay Areas received approximately 5% fewer than expected.
A community corrections agency can only effectively supervise and
case-manage offenders who are engaged with their probation officer.
Once the PRCS offender is released from prison, s/he is mandated to
check in at the local probation office within two business days. Seven
percent of PRCS releases from state prison have had a warrant issued

CPOC Issue Brief 	

2	

July 2012

for their arrest for failing to appear within the ordered timeline. Warrants
are also issued for offenders who do not maintain adequate contact
with their probation officer, after they have arrived in the county. Fewer
than 4% of PRCS offenders were on this type of warrant status as of
March 31, 2012, compared to a similar statistic for parolees monitored
by the state at a rate of 14%.2 Several variables factor into that statistic
but it does demonstrate while early concerns were expressed that
Realignment would lead to offenders evading probation supervision, this
trend suggests those concerns have been overstated.
However, just showing up is only one part of the puzzle. Outcome
measures, such as six-month and one-year terminations, and
terminations after 18 months, will eventually provide information for both
amount of time spent on local supervision, as well as relative levels of
success. Probation departments, as their data systems permit, will be
tracking and addressing recidivism of offenders under their supervision,
as well as improvements in community factors that lead to success,
e.g., education, housing stability, sobriety, and other criminogenic
factors. These long term outcomes for communities will ultimately
measure the success of Realignment as a criminal justice policy.

PC1170(h)
allows judges to
impose a local
prison term, or
a split sentence
of a local prison
term followed by
a mandatory term
of supervision for
offenders convicted
of a non-serious,
non-violent and
non-sexual offense.

Felons ineligible for state prison under Realignment are being
sentenced under Penal Code 1170(h). This sentence can be structured
in several ways- with a sentence that includes the entire period served
in jail; a sentence that is split between a custody term in jail followed
by mandatory supervision by probation; or the entire sentence served
on mandatory supervision, under probation jurisdiction. When the
sentence includes a combination of custody and mandatory supervision,
it is known as a “split sentence.” This option allows probation officers
to provide supervision and case-management services to offenders
in the community as part of a re-entry plan, once the custody term
has ended. When offenders are released directly from local custody
without supervision, these opportunities are missed. For this reason,
probation departments believe that the usage of split sentences benefits
community safety under the realigned system.

Impacts on Traditional Felony Probation Sentences
Probation supervises adult criminal offenders within local communities,
using a balance of supervision techniques involving offender
accountability, enforcement, and rehabilitation, to protect public safety,
and reduce recidivism. By focusing on approaches that are evidence
based, probation is able to identify the risk of reoffending, provide
supervision intensity and interventions that effectively reduce recidivism,
hold offenders accountable, and reduce the movement of offenders in
and out of very costly incarceration options.
Probation has been the most commonly used sanction within the criminal
justice system prior to Realignment, with roughly 70% of convictions
including probation as part of the sentence.3 That reliance makes
probation a unique and critical partner in the justice system. The actions
of local agencies, particularly in the area of probation, effect state-level
public safety programs.

Through March 31, 2012, more than 15,000
offenders were sentenced under PC1170(h)
(See Fig. 2).  Offenders being sentenced to
local custody/mandatory supervision rather than
state prison/parole are causing an immediate
impact on local resources, with jails feeling this
most acutely in the first six months.  However,
as 1170(h) offenders whose sentence was split

3	

Statewide, the number of split sentences
ordered per month has stayed relatively
constant over the first six months of
Realignment. However, as the monthly
number of 1170(h) sentences overall has
declined, the percent that are receiving
split sentences has risen from 15% in
October 2011, to 24% in March 2012.
As of March 31, 20% of offenders given a split sentence have finished
their custody time and are currently being supervised by probation
departments on mandatory supervision. In the coming year, the number
of offenders supervised by probation under mandatory supervision
will continue to rise, as offenders receiving split sentences finish their
custody terms. It will be crucial to assess whether actual 1170(h)
sentences and the average daily population are continuing to trend
above projections, to ensure local jurisdictions have the appropriate
resources to make Realignment successful.

New Custody Option –
Split Sentences with Mandatory Supervision

CPOC Issue Brief 	

begin to exit custody and start mandatory supervision, they will also
start taxing probation resources. The impact is not consistent across
the state, due to the uneven use of split sentences made by courts,
as well as the length and number of offenders serving custody terms. 
Even more so than with PRCS numbers, variables that are predictive of
offenders receiving 1170(h) sentences are complex, and are still being
assessed.

During the first six months of Realignment, the monthly amount
of felony probation grants has declined by 20%. This may reflect

July 2012

CPOC Issue Brief 	

4	

July 2012

change, the Chief Probation Officers of California (CPOC) agreed to
collect data from all 58 counties. It is with recognition of the significance
of this change that all counties agreed to collect common information,
to ensure statewide understanding of Realignment impacts, and inform
further policy decisions. This brief is the first of a series that will analyze
trends and outcomes as Realignment progresses.

Realignment and Probation’s Role

Post Release
Community
Supervision
(PRCS)
is provided by
local Probation
Departments.
Eligible offenders
who would have
previously been
under parole
supervision will
now be supervised
by Probation.
PRCS can last for
up to 3 years, but
can end earlier if
the offender does
not violate terms
of supervision
resulting in a
return to custody.

The expansion of local control and resources provides counties with
an opportunity to improve offender outcomes. In addition to saving
lives and preventing future victims, lowering criminal recidivism saves
taxpayer dollars, by reducing societal costs of crime, and costly
attempts to address criminality. To respond to this significant change,
localities have created collaborative decision making bodies known
as Community Corrections Partnerships (CCPs), chaired by the
county Probation Chief. These bodies bring together county and other
agencies to develop local fiscal and strategic policies, based on local
realities. CCPs assist jurisdictions by ensuring that justice agencies
work together in the creation of county plans, and by supporting the
delivery of practices that have been scientifically shown to reduce risk,
and improve outcomes.1

Post Release Community Supervision Offenders
As part of the AB109
planning process,
each county received
estimates of the number
of offenders anticipated
to be placed on PRCS
in their communities
after serving their full
prison term.
Data for the first six months demonstrates that, on a statewide basis,
the estimates closely approximated the actual numbers (23,100
predicted by the state, compared to 22,500 actual releases). However,
the statewide average obscures the experiences of individual counties.
As shown in Figure 1, counties in California’s central region received
8% more offenders than expected, while counties in the Sacramento
and Bay Areas received approximately 5% fewer than expected.
A community corrections agency can only effectively supervise and
case-manage offenders who are engaged with their probation officer.
Once the PRCS offender is released from prison, s/he is mandated to
check in at the local probation office within two business days. Seven
percent of PRCS releases from state prison have had a warrant issued

CPOC Issue Brief 	

2	

July 2012

for their arrest for failing to appear within the ordered timeline. Warrants
are also issued for offenders who do not maintain adequate contact
with their probation officer, after they have arrived in the county. Fewer
than 4% of PRCS offenders were on this type of warrant status as of
March 31, 2012, compared to a similar statistic for parolees monitored
by the state at a rate of 14%.2 Several variables factor into that statistic
but it does demonstrate while early concerns were expressed that
Realignment would lead to offenders evading probation supervision, this
trend suggests those concerns have been overstated.
However, just showing up is only one part of the puzzle. Outcome
measures, such as six-month and one-year terminations, and
terminations after 18 months, will eventually provide information for both
amount of time spent on local supervision, as well as relative levels of
success. Probation departments, as their data systems permit, will be
tracking and addressing recidivism of offenders under their supervision,
as well as improvements in community factors that lead to success,
e.g., education, housing stability, sobriety, and other criminogenic
factors. These long term outcomes for communities will ultimately
measure the success of Realignment as a criminal justice policy.

PC1170(h)
allows judges to
impose a local
prison term, or
a split sentence
of a local prison
term followed by
a mandatory term
of supervision for
offenders convicted
of a non-serious,
non-violent and
non-sexual offense.

Felons ineligible for state prison under Realignment are being
sentenced under Penal Code 1170(h). This sentence can be structured
in several ways- with a sentence that includes the entire period served
in jail; a sentence that is split between a custody term in jail followed
by mandatory supervision by probation; or the entire sentence served
on mandatory supervision, under probation jurisdiction. When the
sentence includes a combination of custody and mandatory supervision,
it is known as a “split sentence.” This option allows probation officers
to provide supervision and case-management services to offenders
in the community as part of a re-entry plan, once the custody term
has ended. When offenders are released directly from local custody
without supervision, these opportunities are missed. For this reason,
probation departments believe that the usage of split sentences benefits
community safety under the realigned system.

Impacts on Traditional Felony Probation Sentences
Probation supervises adult criminal offenders within local communities,
using a balance of supervision techniques involving offender
accountability, enforcement, and rehabilitation, to protect public safety,
and reduce recidivism. By focusing on approaches that are evidence
based, probation is able to identify the risk of reoffending, provide
supervision intensity and interventions that effectively reduce recidivism,
hold offenders accountable, and reduce the movement of offenders in
and out of very costly incarceration options.
Probation has been the most commonly used sanction within the criminal
justice system prior to Realignment, with roughly 70% of convictions
including probation as part of the sentence.3 That reliance makes
probation a unique and critical partner in the justice system. The actions
of local agencies, particularly in the area of probation, effect state-level
public safety programs.

Through March 31, 2012, more than 15,000
offenders were sentenced under PC1170(h)
(See Fig. 2).  Offenders being sentenced to
local custody/mandatory supervision rather than
state prison/parole are causing an immediate
impact on local resources, with jails feeling this
most acutely in the first six months.  However,
as 1170(h) offenders whose sentence was split

3	

Statewide, the number of split sentences
ordered per month has stayed relatively
constant over the first six months of
Realignment. However, as the monthly
number of 1170(h) sentences overall has
declined, the percent that are receiving
split sentences has risen from 15% in
October 2011, to 24% in March 2012.
As of March 31, 20% of offenders given a split sentence have finished
their custody time and are currently being supervised by probation
departments on mandatory supervision. In the coming year, the number
of offenders supervised by probation under mandatory supervision
will continue to rise, as offenders receiving split sentences finish their
custody terms. It will be crucial to assess whether actual 1170(h)
sentences and the average daily population are continuing to trend
above projections, to ensure local jurisdictions have the appropriate
resources to make Realignment successful.

New Custody Option –
Split Sentences with Mandatory Supervision

CPOC Issue Brief 	

begin to exit custody and start mandatory supervision, they will also
start taxing probation resources. The impact is not consistent across
the state, due to the uneven use of split sentences made by courts,
as well as the length and number of offenders serving custody terms. 
Even more so than with PRCS numbers, variables that are predictive of
offenders receiving 1170(h) sentences are complex, and are still being
assessed.

During the first six months of Realignment, the monthly amount
of felony probation grants has declined by 20%. This may reflect

July 2012

CPOC Issue Brief 	

4	

July 2012

change, the Chief Probation Officers of California (CPOC) agreed to
collect data from all 58 counties. It is with recognition of the significance
of this change that all counties agreed to collect common information,
to ensure statewide understanding of Realignment impacts, and inform
further policy decisions. This brief is the first of a series that will analyze
trends and outcomes as Realignment progresses.

Realignment and Probation’s Role

Post Release
Community
Supervision
(PRCS)
is provided by
local Probation
Departments.
Eligible offenders
who would have
previously been
under parole
supervision will
now be supervised
by Probation.
PRCS can last for
up to 3 years, but
can end earlier if
the offender does
not violate terms
of supervision
resulting in a
return to custody.

The expansion of local control and resources provides counties with
an opportunity to improve offender outcomes. In addition to saving
lives and preventing future victims, lowering criminal recidivism saves
taxpayer dollars, by reducing societal costs of crime, and costly
attempts to address criminality. To respond to this significant change,
localities have created collaborative decision making bodies known
as Community Corrections Partnerships (CCPs), chaired by the
county Probation Chief. These bodies bring together county and other
agencies to develop local fiscal and strategic policies, based on local
realities. CCPs assist jurisdictions by ensuring that justice agencies
work together in the creation of county plans, and by supporting the
delivery of practices that have been scientifically shown to reduce risk,
and improve outcomes.1

Post Release Community Supervision Offenders
As part of the AB109
planning process,
each county received
estimates of the number
of offenders anticipated
to be placed on PRCS
in their communities
after serving their full
prison term.
Data for the first six months demonstrates that, on a statewide basis,
the estimates closely approximated the actual numbers (23,100
predicted by the state, compared to 22,500 actual releases). However,
the statewide average obscures the experiences of individual counties.
As shown in Figure 1, counties in California’s central region received
8% more offenders than expected, while counties in the Sacramento
and Bay Areas received approximately 5% fewer than expected.
A community corrections agency can only effectively supervise and
case-manage offenders who are engaged with their probation officer.
Once the PRCS offender is released from prison, s/he is mandated to
check in at the local probation office within two business days. Seven
percent of PRCS releases from state prison have had a warrant issued

CPOC Issue Brief 	

2	

July 2012

for their arrest for failing to appear within the ordered timeline. Warrants
are also issued for offenders who do not maintain adequate contact
with their probation officer, after they have arrived in the county. Fewer
than 4% of PRCS offenders were on this type of warrant status as of
March 31, 2012, compared to a similar statistic for parolees monitored
by the state at a rate of 14%.2 Several variables factor into that statistic
but it does demonstrate while early concerns were expressed that
Realignment would lead to offenders evading probation supervision, this
trend suggests those concerns have been overstated.
However, just showing up is only one part of the puzzle. Outcome
measures, such as six-month and one-year terminations, and
terminations after 18 months, will eventually provide information for both
amount of time spent on local supervision, as well as relative levels of
success. Probation departments, as their data systems permit, will be
tracking and addressing recidivism of offenders under their supervision,
as well as improvements in community factors that lead to success,
e.g., education, housing stability, sobriety, and other criminogenic
factors. These long term outcomes for communities will ultimately
measure the success of Realignment as a criminal justice policy.

PC1170(h)
allows judges to
impose a local
prison term, or
a split sentence
of a local prison
term followed by
a mandatory term
of supervision for
offenders convicted
of a non-serious,
non-violent and
non-sexual offense.

Felons ineligible for state prison under Realignment are being
sentenced under Penal Code 1170(h). This sentence can be structured
in several ways- with a sentence that includes the entire period served
in jail; a sentence that is split between a custody term in jail followed
by mandatory supervision by probation; or the entire sentence served
on mandatory supervision, under probation jurisdiction. When the
sentence includes a combination of custody and mandatory supervision,
it is known as a “split sentence.” This option allows probation officers
to provide supervision and case-management services to offenders
in the community as part of a re-entry plan, once the custody term
has ended. When offenders are released directly from local custody
without supervision, these opportunities are missed. For this reason,
probation departments believe that the usage of split sentences benefits
community safety under the realigned system.

Impacts on Traditional Felony Probation Sentences
Probation supervises adult criminal offenders within local communities,
using a balance of supervision techniques involving offender
accountability, enforcement, and rehabilitation, to protect public safety,
and reduce recidivism. By focusing on approaches that are evidence
based, probation is able to identify the risk of reoffending, provide
supervision intensity and interventions that effectively reduce recidivism,
hold offenders accountable, and reduce the movement of offenders in
and out of very costly incarceration options.
Probation has been the most commonly used sanction within the criminal
justice system prior to Realignment, with roughly 70% of convictions
including probation as part of the sentence.3 That reliance makes
probation a unique and critical partner in the justice system. The actions
of local agencies, particularly in the area of probation, effect state-level
public safety programs.

Through March 31, 2012, more than 15,000
offenders were sentenced under PC1170(h)
(See Fig. 2).  Offenders being sentenced to
local custody/mandatory supervision rather than
state prison/parole are causing an immediate
impact on local resources, with jails feeling this
most acutely in the first six months.  However,
as 1170(h) offenders whose sentence was split

3	

Statewide, the number of split sentences
ordered per month has stayed relatively
constant over the first six months of
Realignment. However, as the monthly
number of 1170(h) sentences overall has
declined, the percent that are receiving
split sentences has risen from 15% in
October 2011, to 24% in March 2012.
As of March 31, 20% of offenders given a split sentence have finished
their custody time and are currently being supervised by probation
departments on mandatory supervision. In the coming year, the number
of offenders supervised by probation under mandatory supervision
will continue to rise, as offenders receiving split sentences finish their
custody terms. It will be crucial to assess whether actual 1170(h)
sentences and the average daily population are continuing to trend
above projections, to ensure local jurisdictions have the appropriate
resources to make Realignment successful.

New Custody Option –
Split Sentences with Mandatory Supervision

CPOC Issue Brief 	

begin to exit custody and start mandatory supervision, they will also
start taxing probation resources. The impact is not consistent across
the state, due to the uneven use of split sentences made by courts,
as well as the length and number of offenders serving custody terms. 
Even more so than with PRCS numbers, variables that are predictive of
offenders receiving 1170(h) sentences are complex, and are still being
assessed.

During the first six months of Realignment, the monthly amount
of felony probation grants has declined by 20%. This may reflect

July 2012

CPOC Issue Brief 	

4	

July 2012

changes occurring in the wake of the new sentencing options; however, prior to October,
there had already been a trend of decreasing felony probation grants. It is expected that
Realignment will have an impact on regular felony grants of probation, but it is too early to
draw conclusions. The first six months of Realignment has already seen some decline in
total 1170(h) sentencing, and the relationship between 1170(h) sentencing and traditional
probation will be an area for further study. As with other parts of Realignment, there is great
variability when looking at this from a regional and county-by-county perspective.

Public Safety Realignment – What is it?

To interact with the statewide data from this report in a dashboard:
http://www.cpoc.org/php/realign/dashboardinfo/dashboard.swf

In 2009, Senate Bill 678 supported probation departments’ use of evidence based practices
to achieve greater success with their offenders. To the extent fewer probationers fail and
are sentenced to state prison, the state achieves significant savings. The act mandated
the state share between 40-45% of the savings with counties who were successful at
reducing the rate at which they revoke probationers to state prisons. After the first year of
implementation in 2010, probation departments reduced their revocations to state prison
by 23%, from baseline years of 2006-2008. Fifty county probation departments used
Senate Bill 678 funds to invest in practices that reduce recidivism, such as risk-needs
assessment, and the targeted lowering of caseload ratios for high risk offenders.4 These
efforts allowed probation departments to create foundational pieces that prepared them as
they were presented with the challenges of Realignment. Building on these strategies from
this program, and broadening the lessons to the greater county’s efforts through its CCP
(as envisioned by Realignment legislation) could lead to similar success with the newly
realigned population. This could generate county general fund savings when local programs
are successful in reducing recidivism and preventing excessive increases in jail population.

Future Editions
of Realignment
Perspectives
• 	A Closer Look at
Split Sentences
• 	Regional
Perspectives
on PRCS
Supervision
• 	PRCS Offender
Outcomes

To obtain the county level data: http://www.bscc.ca.gov/resources

What’s Next?
The $375 million allocated to Realignment in year one will be followed by an allocation
of $842 million in year two. Protecting this funding on an ongoing basis is imperative to
ensure that strategies planned by CCPs can be implemented, and allowed to bear fruit.
Each county has established a Community Corrections Partnership of key criminal justice,
health, human service, and education leaders to work as a collaborative group to put actions
to strategies. In addition, probation departments across the state have imposed upon
themselves a statewide data collection effort. As more data is gathered we will be able to
analyze how probation strategies will benefit local communities and the state, by working to
ensure public safety and improve offender outcomes, in a cost effective way.

For questions about this report,
please contact Cpoc@cpoc.org,
or visit our website at
http://cpoc.org/php/realign/ab109home.php
Chief Probation
Officers of
California

CPOC would like to thank

The James Irvine Foundation
for its support of data collection
and the publication of this report.

County Re-alignment plans can be found at http://cpoc.org/php/realign/countyplans.php.
2
http://www.cdcr.ca.gov/COMPSTAT/docs/DAPO/COMPSTAT_DAPO_Statistical_Report_04_12.pdf
3
http://oag.ca.gov/sites/all/files/pdfs/cjsc/prof10/table6.pdf?
4
http://www.courts.ca.gov/documents/SB678-Year-1-Report-FINAL.pdf
1

CPOC Issue Brief 	

5	

July 2012

CPOC Issue Brief 	

6	

1415 L Street, Ste. 1000
Sacramento, CA 95814
(916) 447-2762

July 2012

CPOC Issue Brief 	

California enacted historic criminal justice system changes to respond
to a variety of factors present in 2011: a significant U.S. Supreme
Court decision which could have led to arbitrary early release of tens
of thousands of prison inmates; years of state and local government
budget deficits; and an unacceptably high recidivism rate for criminal
offenders. The plan resulted in what is commonly called “Public Safety
Realignment,” enacted through California Assembly bills AB 109
and AB 117. As a result, in the first six months of Realignment, over
38,000 individuals who would have been the responsibility of the State
prior to these changes were instead being supervised and housed by
local county probation and sheriff departments.
Instead of serving their parole time on state parole jurisdiction, 23,000
are now under the supervision of local probation departments as
“Post Release Community Supervision” (PRCS) offenders. These
individuals are eligible for local supervision if their most recent
conviction was a non-violent, non-serious, and non-sexual offense.
It is important to note that while the PRCS population may not have
a recent conviction of a serious, violent or sex offense many are still
assessed as high risk. These offenders could also have a sex offense
in their criminal history and be placed on PRCS as long as they are
not currently assessed as a high risk sex offender. While probation
departments are equipped to handle this population, they often fall into
a high need and higher level of supervision.
In addition to those being supervised by probation as a PRCS, an
additional 15,000 offenders are serving their sentences in local jails,
rather than state prison, under the new Penal Code section 1170(h).
Many of these offenders will eventually serve a portion of their local
time under the supervision of the probation department, on “Mandatory
Supervision” (MS). It is clear that Realignment is dramatically
changing criminal justice in California with the state prison population
under 140,000 for the first time since 1996, and the state parole
supervision population is under 70,000. The key question moving
forward -- how are communities responding to the populations that
are no longer under the state responsibility and must be addressed
locally?
Every community has the flexibility to develop their local Realignment
plan, and collect their data in a manner that addresses local priorities
and needs. In order to best measure, plan, and manage this historic

1	

July 2012

changes occurring in the wake of the new sentencing options; however, prior to October,
there had already been a trend of decreasing felony probation grants. It is expected that
Realignment will have an impact on regular felony grants of probation, but it is too early to
draw conclusions. The first six months of Realignment has already seen some decline in
total 1170(h) sentencing, and the relationship between 1170(h) sentencing and traditional
probation will be an area for further study. As with other parts of Realignment, there is great
variability when looking at this from a regional and county-by-county perspective.

Public Safety Realignment – What is it?

To interact with the statewide data from this report in a dashboard:
http://www.cpoc.org/php/realign/dashboardinfo/dashboard.swf

In 2009, Senate Bill 678 supported probation departments’ use of evidence based practices
to achieve greater success with their offenders. To the extent fewer probationers fail and
are sentenced to state prison, the state achieves significant savings. The act mandated
the state share between 40-45% of the savings with counties who were successful at
reducing the rate at which they revoke probationers to state prisons. After the first year of
implementation in 2010, probation departments reduced their revocations to state prison
by 23%, from baseline years of 2006-2008. Fifty county probation departments used
Senate Bill 678 funds to invest in practices that reduce recidivism, such as risk-needs
assessment, and the targeted lowering of caseload ratios for high risk offenders.4 These
efforts allowed probation departments to create foundational pieces that prepared them as
they were presented with the challenges of Realignment. Building on these strategies from
this program, and broadening the lessons to the greater county’s efforts through its CCP
(as envisioned by Realignment legislation) could lead to similar success with the newly
realigned population. This could generate county general fund savings when local programs
are successful in reducing recidivism and preventing excessive increases in jail population.

Future Editions
of Realignment
Perspectives
• 	A Closer Look at
Split Sentences
• 	Regional
Perspectives
on PRCS
Supervision
• 	PRCS Offender
Outcomes

To obtain the county level data: http://www.bscc.ca.gov/resources

What’s Next?
The $375 million allocated to Realignment in year one will be followed by an allocation
of $842 million in year two. Protecting this funding on an ongoing basis is imperative to
ensure that strategies planned by CCPs can be implemented, and allowed to bear fruit.
Each county has established a Community Corrections Partnership of key criminal justice,
health, human service, and education leaders to work as a collaborative group to put actions
to strategies. In addition, probation departments across the state have imposed upon
themselves a statewide data collection effort. As more data is gathered we will be able to
analyze how probation strategies will benefit local communities and the state, by working to
ensure public safety and improve offender outcomes, in a cost effective way.

For questions about this report,
please contact Cpoc@cpoc.org,
or visit our website at
http://cpoc.org/php/realign/ab109home.php
Chief Probation
Officers of
California

CPOC would like to thank

The James Irvine Foundation
for its support of data collection
and the publication of this report.

County Re-alignment plans can be found at http://cpoc.org/php/realign/countyplans.php.
2
http://www.cdcr.ca.gov/COMPSTAT/docs/DAPO/COMPSTAT_DAPO_Statistical_Report_04_12.pdf
3
http://oag.ca.gov/sites/all/files/pdfs/cjsc/prof10/table6.pdf?
4
http://www.courts.ca.gov/documents/SB678-Year-1-Report-FINAL.pdf
1

CPOC Issue Brief 	

5	

July 2012

CPOC Issue Brief 	

6	

1415 L Street, Ste. 1000
Sacramento, CA 95814
(916) 447-2762

July 2012

CPOC Issue Brief 	

California enacted historic criminal justice system changes to respond
to a variety of factors present in 2011: a significant U.S. Supreme
Court decision which could have led to arbitrary early release of tens
of thousands of prison inmates; years of state and local government
budget deficits; and an unacceptably high recidivism rate for criminal
offenders. The plan resulted in what is commonly called “Public Safety
Realignment,” enacted through California Assembly bills AB 109
and AB 117. As a result, in the first six months of Realignment, over
38,000 individuals who would have been the responsibility of the State
prior to these changes were instead being supervised and housed by
local county probation and sheriff departments.
Instead of serving their parole time on state parole jurisdiction, 23,000
are now under the supervision of local probation departments as
“Post Release Community Supervision” (PRCS) offenders. These
individuals are eligible for local supervision if their most recent
conviction was a non-violent, non-serious, and non-sexual offense.
It is important to note that while the PRCS population may not have
a recent conviction of a serious, violent or sex offense many are still
assessed as high risk. These offenders could also have a sex offense
in their criminal history and be placed on PRCS as long as they are
not currently assessed as a high risk sex offender. While probation
departments are equipped to handle this population, they often fall into
a high need and higher level of supervision.
In addition to those being supervised by probation as a PRCS, an
additional 15,000 offenders are serving their sentences in local jails,
rather than state prison, under the new Penal Code section 1170(h).
Many of these offenders will eventually serve a portion of their local
time under the supervision of the probation department, on “Mandatory
Supervision” (MS). It is clear that Realignment is dramatically
changing criminal justice in California with the state prison population
under 140,000 for the first time since 1996, and the state parole
supervision population is under 70,000. The key question moving
forward -- how are communities responding to the populations that
are no longer under the state responsibility and must be addressed
locally?
Every community has the flexibility to develop their local Realignment
plan, and collect their data in a manner that addresses local priorities
and needs. In order to best measure, plan, and manage this historic

1	

July 2012

 

 

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