Is Public Safety Realignment Reducing Recidivism in California?

Public Policy Institute of CaliforniaThis publication by the Public Policy Institute of California evaluates the impact of California’s 2011 Public Safety Realignment Act, which shifts, from the state-level to the county-level, the supervision, custody, and treatment of individuals convicted of nonviolent, non-serious, and nonsexual crimes. A goal of the policy includes reducing recidivism and reducing the prison population in California. The study’s analysis shows that this realignment has not led to dramatic changes in arrests or conviction rates of individuals who have been released. While there has been a slight decrease in arrests and a slight increase in convictions, the findings suggest that these slight changes are a reflection not of behavioral change, but rather a change in arrest procedures and prosecutorial approaches. The study also shows that realignment has been successful at reducing the percentage of individuals returning to prison as a sanction for parole violations or minor criminal offenses. To view the report, click here.