Counties need to help parolees access health care

Lois Davis (RAND Corporation) and Susan Turner (University of California, Irvine)

San Francisco Chronicle, November 22, 2016

California’s Public Safety Realignment Act (AB109), transferred the responsibility for many nonviolent offenders from the state prison system to county jail or local probation. Most efforts to understand the effects of this law have understandably focused on jails, courts and public safety. But at Rand we focused on another key challenge to inmates’ successful re-entry — the health of such returning offenders and their need for physical, mental health and drug treatment.

To view article click here: Counties need to help parolees access health care

Public Safety Realignment in Twelve California Counties

Following long bouts of litigation among inmates, prison guards, and state officials, in May 2011, the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed the ruling of a three-judge panel that imposed a cap on California’s prison population and ordered the state to reduce its prison population to 137.5 percent of “design capacity” within two years. The primary basis for the court ruling was that the overcrowded prison system violated inmates’ constitutional right to adequate health care. In response to the 2011 Supreme Court decision, California adopted two measures, Assembly Bill (AB) 109 and AB 117, collectively known as realignment. These measures shift responsibility for certain low-level offenders, parole violators, and parolees, previously the state’s responsibility, to California counties. Realignment gives counties a great deal of flexibility in how they treat these offenders and allows them to choose alternatives to custody for realignment offenders. As time has passed since realignment began in October 2011, several studies have evaluated various aspects of the planning and implementation of realignment. The study reported here focused on the flexibility that the state granted counties in implementing realignment. In particular, the authors wanted to determine whether counties essentially continued and expanded what they were already doing in county corrections or whether they used realignment as an opportunity to change from “business as usual.”

To obtain the report please go to: Public Safety Realignment in Twelve California Counties

California’s Public Safety Realignment: Correctional Policy Based on Stakes Rather than Risk – Working Paper

California’s Public Safety Realignment: Correctional Policy Based on Stakes Rather than Risk

California’s Public Safety Realignment: Correctional Policy Based on Stakes Rather than Risk.

California’s Public Safety Realignment: Correctional Policy Based on Stakes Rather than Risk.

Julie Gerlinger (University of California, Irvine) and Susan Turner (University of California, Irvine)
Criminal Justice Policy Review, August 18, 2014 (in print)

This study examines the potential impacts on public safety of a sentencing policy focused on offense, as opposed to risk.  The authors utilize a California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation 2005-2006 recidivism dataset to simulate recidivism patterns of newly realigned state and local supervision groups under California’s “Public Safety Realignment.”  The distinction between high- and low-stakes (offense-based) offenders is analyzed through arrest and conviction rates, as well as returns-to-prison.  The authors find that corrections policies based on stakes, as opposed to risk, may produce adverse results regarding public safety.  The findings from this study suggest that policy makers should consider risk to recidivate before making large changes to sentencing or supervision policies.  Most low-stakes offenders are not at low risk to reoffend, and the types of offenses for which released offenders recidivate are not predictable based on current offense.  Thus, risk assessment using criminal histories may be necessary to protect he public and produce better recidivism results.

California’s Public Safety Realignment: Correctional Policy Based on Stakes Rather than Risk

Adobe PDFCalifornia’s Public Safety Realignment-Correctional Policy Based on Stakes

Julie Gerlinger and Susan Turner, Ph.D., University of California, Irvine.
Working Paper September 2013, Revised December 2013.

Sites@UCI provided by the Office of Information Technology, University of California, Irvine