Impact of California A.B. Prison Realignment Law

Governor Jerry Brown signed into law A.B. 109 effectively transferring responsibility for nonserious, nonviolent and non-Penal Code §290 registerable sex offenders from the state to the counties. The law was an apparent response to a U. S. Supreme Court order to reduce California’s prison population to 137 percent of capacity by May 24, 2013 and California’s budget crisis. A.B. 109 is referred to as “realignment.” The sentencing provisions of realignment became operative on and after October 1, 2011and represent the largest change to California sentencing since Three Strikes. “Realignment” sends parolees to county jail instead of state prison for certain relatively minor violations.

Realignment has been blamed for the spike in the number of fugitive sex offenders in California. California sex offenders who have served their time are released on parole, and only those considered high-risk are given a GPS tracker. An alarming number are cutting off their GPS ankle bracelet. In the 15 months prior to the October 2011 enactment of realignment, 3,117 warrants were issued for sex-offender fugitives, or 30 percent of those with GPS monitors. In the following 15 months, nearly 5,000 warrants were issued, which represents a 58 percent increase.

Critics of realignment state that more parolees are removing their GPS because the consequences are insignificant. Since realignment, being recaptured means an offender will spend only a few days at the local lockup, and if that facility is overcrowded, it could mean no jail time at all. Critics cite the recent case of Jerome DeAvila, a high-risk paroled sex offender who was in and out of jail for months, charged with drugs and repeatedly disabling his GPS tracker. DeAvila was supposed to be in jail for 30-days on a parole violation, but due to overcrowding, he was released the next day. A few days later, DeAvila was arrested for raping and killing his 76-year-old grandmother.

PENDING SENATE BILL PUTS PAROLEES WHO CUT OFF MONITORS BACK IN PRISON

Sen. Ted Lieu (D-Torrance) introduced a bill that puts parolees who cut off their electronic monitors back in state prison. The California Senate Public Safety Commission is scheduled to hear the bill in the spring of 2013.

CONTACT RANCHO CUCAMONGA CRIMINAL DEFENSE LAWYER JOHN D. LUECK

If you have been accused of a parole violation or a sex crime, you need an experienced criminal defense lawyer on your side to ensure that your rights are protected. The Law Offices of John D. Lueck has been aggressively defending individuals against felony and misdemeanor charges in Southern California for more than 35 years. Contact Rancho Cucamonga criminal defense lawyer John D. Lueck today for a free consultation.

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