Speaking to more than 500 local government and law enforcement leaders at a statewide conference on public safety realignment, Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. today vowed to do "whatever it takes" to provide constitutional protection for realignment funding.
"I'm not leaving Sacramento until we get a constitutional guarantee to protect law enforcement and the whole realignment process," Governor Brown said. "We will do whatever it takes to get the constitutional protection because public safety is the number one responsibility of government. I recognize that and I want to work with you to achieve it."
In April, Governor Brown signed AB 109, a landmark law that realigns certain responsibilities for lower level offenders and parolees from state to local jurisdictions. By giving local law enforcement the tools to manage offenders in smarter and cost-effective ways, AB 109 will help reduce recidivism, ease prison overcrowding and save taxpayer dollars.
In June, Governor Brown signed legislation that provides a dedicated and ongoing revenue stream to counties to implement realignment and the Governor has committed to pursuing a constitutional amendment to protect this funding in perpetuity. Governor Brown reiterated this commitment today.
The U.S. Supreme Court has ordered California to reduce its prison population to from 143,000 to 110,000 inmates by 2013. Realignment provides for a reduction in the state prison population over time without the early release of state prisoners, while allowing the most dangerous criminals to be kept behind bars.
Today's conference is intended to help provide local officials with the tools they need in advance of the October 1st rollout of public safety realignment. For more information on realignment, visit: www.cdcr.ca.gov/realignment.