Secretary Matthew Cate

Last Wednesday, Secretary Matthew Cate of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation went on the air to explain the upcoming and unprecedented reforms to realign much of public safety responsibilities from the state down to the local governments.
This process is laid out in Assembly Bill 109 that was signed into law yesterday by Governor Jerry Brown. Below is a list of some changes highlighted in Governor Brown’s press release:

  • No inmates currently in state prison will be released early.
  • All felons sent to state prison will continue to serve their entire sentence.
  • All felons who are convicted of a serious or violent offense—including sex offenders and child molesters—will go to state prison.
  • Felons who are not eligible for state prison can serve their sentence at the local level.

Listen to the Secretary’s interview on KQED’s Forum to hear what changes may be coming to your community and what the current state of corrections is in California.

Some of the changes not mentioned in the Governor’s press release include parole revocation hearings are now under the jurisdiction of county courts, much of adult parole’s responsibilities will be transferred to county probation offices, and many offenders currently sitting in county jails will be released to make room for those who would had previously been considered state level offenders.
CALCASA has partnered with other state coalitions to pressure the Brown administration and the California State Association of Counties to include local rape crisis centers in any public safety planning meetings taking place throughout the state. The on-the-ground experience and expertise of victim advocates can be beneficial to local planning if advocates’ voices are included in the process.
Have you reached out to your Board of Supervisors and Sheriff’s Departments to be included in the realignment process? Let us know your thoughts and experiences.