Re "Inmate realignment can succeed, but it make take more time" (Viewpoints, March 30): Professors Joan Petersilia and Robert Weisberg explain that realignment was necessary to cure unconstitutional overcrowding in California prisons, and predict that recidivism can be reduced.
The suggestion that shifting responsibility for thousands of repeat felons from the state to financially-strapped counties was the only alternative to the court-ordered reduction in prison population reflects a misunderstanding about why our prisons have been overcrowded.
The courts stepped in only after decades of failure by the state to keep prison capacity on par with sentencing. Unfortunately, our Legislature had other spending priorities. Now, while the professors ponder the public safety consequences of alternative sentencing from the sheltered academic environment of Stanford, less privileged Californians are being attacked, robbed and sometimes murdered, by criminals left in communities under Realignment.
-- Michael Rushford, Carmichael