Assembly Bill 109 (AB 109) is dangerous and misleading. On October 1, 2011, AB 109, also known as Criminal Justice Realignment (CJR), officially passed. AB 109 allows non-violent, non-serious and non-sexual offenders (non, non, nons) to serve their sentences in County Jails and not in State Prisons. Sounds reasonable, right? But what the average Californian doesn't know is that only the last...
Assembly Bill 109 (AB 109) is dangerous and misleading. On October 1, 2011, AB 109, also known as Criminal Justice Realignment (CJR), officially passed. AB 109 allows non-violent, non-serious and non-sexual offenders (non, non, nons) to serve their sentences in County Jails and not in State Prisons. Sounds reasonable, right? But what the average Californian doesn't know is that only the last offense is reviewed and not an individual's entire criminal history. A gang member or a child molester with a history of assaults and/or robberies could be arrested for a small amount of Marijuana. Instead of taking his/her ENTIRE criminal record under consideration, this person could magically become a non, non, non offender based on JUST the Marijuana. These offenders will be deemed as "low risk" to the community despite their proven history of involvement in heavy criminal activity.
Another CJR problem is the length of sentencing a Parolee or Probationer could be ordered to for a violation. Prior to October 1, the Board of Parole Hearings could order parolees to serve up to 12 months in State Prison for technical violations. Technical violations include such violations as gang activity and no contact orders, which are put into place to protect victims from offenders. However after the passage of AB 109, offenders cannot be ordered to serve more than 180 days in jail for a violation.
Unfortunately, almost no one will serve 180 days. Under the law, all offenders convicted of any violation will be eligible for half time, which means that the maximum time that an offender will serve is only 90 days. Usually the 90 days are served for only the most severe violations. There are cases where offenders are convicted of domestic violence, robbery and battery and only serve 60 days. Additionally, due to over crowding at the LA County Jail, most offenders are released earlier than their “projected release date.” If released early, the LA County Jail almost never notifies Parole Agents of the parolee’s release into the community.
Many offenders simply refuse to report to Parole offices because they are aware that they no longer will receive much time. Often times, offenders commit new crimes and are arrested before their “projected release date.”
Yes AB 109 saves money at the expense of public safety. During this poor economy, many offenders will never find stable employment even if they are interested. As a result, most will go back to their old habits. Depending on where you live, you could be victimized whether its your property or you personally. Compounding the horrifying nature of this law, everyday Californians were not allowed to vote for or against this law. Instead, only Governor Brown and a number of Assembly persons had the right to decide what's safest for the community. Simply put, AB 109 needs to be amended. The offender's entire criminal history needs to taken into account when declaring an offender as a non, non, non. Sign the petition and then call the Governor today at (916) 445-2841 you can also fax him at (916) 558-3160.
Californians deserve to be safe...