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Understanding the Basics of Public Safety Realignment

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Two years ago California embarked on a course that some call the most sweeping change in the state’s public safety system in decades.

In the face of state prison overcrowding, court-ordered reductions of the prison population and state budget constraints, California took action to shift responsibility for lower-level offenders from the state to counties. About 30,000 offenders are now being supervised in the community by county probation departments rather than California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation parole officers. In addition, new non-violent offenders are being sentenced to county jail, not state prison.

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