Realignment drives crime up

01/11/2014 1:01 PM

01/10/2014 3:43 PM

Re “Rearrest rate unchanged after year of realignment” (Page A1, Jan. 10): The front-page article regarding the rearrest rate for parolees after realignment does not tell the full story. While arrest rates are slightly lower, conviction rates are slightly higher, and the felony arrest rate is 6 percent higher. Fewer arrests for misdemeanors and supervision violations are what drove the total arrest rate down. This makes perfect sense because after the realignment, criminals can commit drug and property felonies without worrying about going to prison. Why steal a six-pack of beer when you can steal the whole beer truck and the worst you can get is time in the county jail? Under realignment, most criminals released from prison receive light supervision on county probation, rather than the intense supervision on state parole. It is no surprise that fewer relatively unsupervised ex-cons are being arrested for supervision violations. As the Public Policy Institute's recent report on crime under realignment notes, crime is up in California.

-- Michael Rushford, Carmichael

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