NCCD is leading a campaign to support AB 109/realignment, which mandates that California state prisons must shift their lower-level offenders (non-violent, non-sexual, non-serious) to county prisons. Realignment is part of the California prison system’s plan to reduce the prison population, and was mandated in reaction to the U.S. Supreme Court decision handed down on May 23, 2011. The Supreme Court ruled that California has to reduce its prison overcrowding to 137.5% of design capacity from the current level of 190%, on the basis that California prisons were not providing adequate medical and mental health care due to severe overcrowding. Governor Jerry Brown signed AB 109, which took effect October 1, 2011.
NCCD uses its expertise in the fields of adult corrections and juvenile justice to help counties implement transitions required by AB 109. We are working with counties to reduce the proportion of pre-trial prisoners in county jails, to shift from subjective bail protocols to objective pre-trial risk assessments, to discontinue local ICE holds, and to develop evidence-based prevention and treatment services for probationers. NCCD worked with the Prison Law Office to increase public awareness of how the Supreme Court's ruling and AB 109 can increase public safety, and has also collaborated with key political leaders in the California Department of Corrections & Rehabilitation.