Monday, December 5, 2011

Realignment Funds: How to spend them?

This morning's Chron has a fantastic story by Marisa Lagos about counties' preparation for realignment. Among other things, it includes this critique from CJCJ:

Daniel Macallair, executive director of the Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice in San Francisco, said the discrepancies between counties mirror what was already happening in each jurisdiction prior to realignment. The center conducts criminal justice research and provides direct services, including a substance abuse program for adults who are released from prison.

"Most counties are not prepared to meet the challenges of realignment, and for many of them it's their own fault. They have engaged in bad practices and policies for 30 years," he said. "The counties that will have the hardest time are some of the Southern California and Central Valley counties that have relied heavily on the state prison system."

Macallair said probation departments need to change the way they approach their job and rely more on the community.

"What people don't realize is that even though we're the state of California and we have one set of criminal laws, you have 58 counties responsible for interpreting and applying those laws and essentially 58 different criminal justice systems," he said. "You're going to have well functioning counties able to meet this challenge and a lot that are going to lag behind. There's nothing uniform about this."

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