Oct. 1, 2012 marked the one-year anniversary of Assembly Bill 109’s implementation, the Democrats’ early-release program for prison inmates. Dubbed “realignment” and billed as a “safe and secure” program to reduce our state prison population, AB 109 has proven to be anything but.
Realignment is one way of putting it. ‘Shift and shaft’ is probably more accurate. The Governor shifted the responsibility of incarcerating dangerous criminals to local law enforcement – a move which shafted the public’s safety (particularly in rural communities).
Up and down the state, the release of “non-violent, low-risk” inmates has been marked by dozens of reports that newly released inmates have carried out rape,attempted murder, kidnapping, robberies, and stabbings; attacked police officers; and stalked playgrounds. All of these offenses have been committed by inmates who were given early release under the auspices of “realignment.”
Take for example two recent developments in Fresno. A man accused of stabbing two women in their apartment, killing one, and then stabbing a police officer had been released from prison under the Democrat’s early release program to reduce overcrowding. That murder was the 39 th in Fresno this year - up from 25 murders at this same point in time last year.
In another report, the sheriff’s office admitted the jail is now usually too full to hold anyone for simply violating parole. That means repeat sexual offenders who are ordered to stay away from children, schools or parks won’t in all likelihood be picked up for those very activities until someone is hurt or violated. (ABC Local News: Several Fresno area sex offenders slipping through the cracks, 9/21/12)
These are dangerous career criminals, not the low level, non-violent offenders the majority party would have you believe. Isn’t one of the fundamental priorities of government to ensure the public’s safety? I don’t see how re-alignment meets that basic criterion.
AB 109’s first anniversary is no cause for celebration -- except perhaps for the criminals.