Graduation Year

2016

Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Department

Politics and International Relations

Reader 1

Nancy Neiman Auerbach

Reader 2

Susan Castagnetto

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Terms of Use for work posted in Scholarship@Claremont.

Rights Information

© 2015 Chiara C Moore

Abstract

This thesis examines AB 109, “Public Safety Realignment”, a policy enacted in California in 2011 to address the United States Supreme Court mandate to reduce overcrowding in California’s prisons to 137.5%. Realignment proactively shifted ‘non-non-non’ felons (non-serious, non-violent, non-sex crimes) from the state prison system to the county jail system and made some changes to the parole and probation systems. Though California’s prison population declined considerably in 2011 and 2012, this reduction did not last; in 2013 the prison population in California increased by 1,770 inmates, and in late 2013 the CDCR estimated that the state prison population would experience an increase of more than 10,000 inmates by 2018. Though the mandate was ultimately reached after the passage of Proposition 47 in November 2014, it is significant that Realignment, which had been seen as groundbreaking criminal justice reform, failed to make significant and lasting change in the way it was intended. This thesis suggests that Realignment failed to meet the overcrowding mandate on its own due to a mixture of misaligned incentives and prosecutorial and policing power at the county level.

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