Governor’s Early Inmate Release Law Increased Crime in Sacramento County

By Mike Rushford

Prop 57
 
A report released today by the Criminal Justice Legal Foundation found that a major contributor to the increased crime in Sacramento County last year were criminals no longer eligible for prison under a 2011 law touted by the Governor as a way to reduce prison overcrowding and improve public safety.
 
Data from the Sacramento County Probation Department indicate that offenders, released into Sacramento County under AB109, the “Public Safety Realignment” law, were arrested for over 12,000 crimes between October of that year and 2015.
 
Under Realignment, most felons released from state prison are designated as “low level” offenders and placed on county probation, termed by Realignment as Post-Release Community Supervision (PRCS), rather than on much stricter state parole.  When the more serious offenders released on state parole violate parole conditions, they can no longer be returned to prison.  Instead, they receive short sentences in county jail followed by release to lighter supervision on PRCS.  Offenders committing most new crimes, including auto theft, fraud, commercial burglary, assault, domestic violence and drug offenses, cannot be sentenced to prison no matter how many times they commit these crimes.  Like parole violators, they can only be sentenced to time in county jail followed by release on PRCS.
 
According to the report, of the 5,269 offenders placed on PRCS, 2,371 (44.9%) were arrested for 7,578 felonies and 4,888 misdemeanors.  More than 1,200 were arrested for violent felonies, such as rape, robbery and murder.  Of the offenders convicted, 631 (over 51%) were for domestic violence, which under Realignment is not considered a serious enough crime to carry a prison sentence.
 
“Sacramento is a medium-sized California county with diverse demographics and strong police and prosecution agencies.  According to preliminary FBI data, the county suffered a 25% increase in crime during the first six months of 2015,” said Foundation President Michael Rushford.  “Because Realignment does not require the state to keep track of criminals placed on PRCS, analysis of its impact must be done one county at a time.  Federal and state data confirm that significant increases in crime occurred virtually everywhere in California last year, which suggests that Sacramento County’s experience is not unique.  Our review found that most, if not all, of the county’s increase appears to be the result of Realignment leaving over 5,000 criminals in the county under light supervision until they committed new crimes violent enough to qualify for a prison sentence.  Once again the Governor’s promises have turned out to be false, and law-abiding Californians are paying the price,” he added.
 
Read the Foundation’s report, “Public Safety Realignment Post-Release Community Supervision”.
 
Criminal Justice Legal Foundation 2131 L Street, Sacramento, CA 95816 * (916) 446-0345 * Fax (916) 446-1194 Web page: http://www.cjlf.org * Blog: http://www.crimeandconsequences.com
 

Phillip Garrido: Coming To A Neighborhood Near You

GarridoIn order to comply with a Federal mandate to ease prison overcrowding California has employed numerous “Get Out Of Jail Free” cards. In 2011, AB 109 shuttled thousands of felons from prisons into county jails. In 2014, Prop. 47 reclassified most “non-serious and non-violent property and drug crimes” from felonies to misdemeanors, further emptying our state prisons.
 
After the prison population met the federal threshold Governor Brown doubled down on Proposition 57, which, if passed, will put thousands of dangerous felons back on our streets.
 
Now we learn that the monster who kidnapped and held Jaycee Dugard in sexual slavery for 18-years will be eligible for release from prison 406-years early because of something called the Elderly Parole Program.
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In 1991, after multiple convictions for rape and kidnapping, Phillip Garrido and his wife Nancy kidnapped 11-year-old Jaycee Dugard from a school bus stop in Lake Tahoe, California. They kept her prisoner and sexually abused her for 18-years. On June 2, 2011, Phillip Garrido pled guilty to multiple counts of kidnapping and rape. He was sentenced to 431 years behind bars for the crimes he admitted committing against Jaycee Dugard.
 
The Elderly Parole Program allows Phillip Garrido to legally petition for parole as early as 2034. According to California’s Prison Law Office the Elderly Parole Program, “Requires the state to put in place a new parole process so that prisoners who are 60 years of age or older and have been incarcerated at least 25 years on their current sentence will be referred to the Board of Parole Hearings (BPH) to determine suitability for parole.”
 
The Elderly Parole Program was mandated by the federal order to relieve overcrowding in California’s prisons. However, that threshold has been achieved. With violent and property crime escalating it is time to rescind the “Get Out Of Jail Free” mentality. Public safety, not empty prisons is one of government’s primary responsibilities.
 
Phillip Garrido is a sexually sadistic psychopath. To entertain the notion that he would ever be eligible for parole diminishes the concept of public safety and redefines the criminal justice system as the justice for criminals system.
 

Insanity

Albert-Einstein (1)“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results” Albert Einstein
 
California experienced an unprecedented violent crime wave in the early 1990’s. Criminals were cycling through a turnstile system of ever escalating violence. A calculated combination of good-time credits and rehabilitation programs provided even the most violent felons with a ‘get out of jail free card’, spitting them back into society after serving but a fraction of their sentence.
 
The result was ever-increasing, ever more violent crime. In 1993, there were 4,096 murders and 11,766 rapes in California. By 2014, those numbers had been reduced to 1,699 murders and 8,398 rapes. The reasons for the precipitous drop in crime have been long debated. However, one cannot overlook the series of ‘tough on crime’ measures that were legislated to curb the swelling crime rates:

  • “Truth in Sentencing” guaranteed that violent, serious felons would serve at least 85% of the sentence imposed by the judge
  • “Three Strikes & You’re Out” held violent and serious felons accountable for their criminal histories through sentence enhancements
  • “Megan’s Law” required sex offenders to register with local authorities, and that the public has access to that information
  • President Clinton’s 1994 Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act put 100,000 more police on our streets.

By 1999, violent and property crime had been cut in half in California. Those numbers held steady until 2014. However, the price paid for safer streets was an increased prison population. In 2006, California’s prison population peaked at 163,000. In 2009, the U.S. Supreme Court ordered the state to reduce the prison population to 114,000. The court said that conditions in California’s overcrowded prisons were so bad that they violated the Eighth Amendment’s ban on cruel and unusual punishment.
 
In response, Governor Brown signed Assembly Bill (AB) 109 in 2011. The goal of AB 109 was to transfer responsibility for incarceration and supervision of certain non-violent, low-risk offenders from the State to its 58 counties, meaning that convicts were transferred from state prisons to county jails. By June 2014, the prison population stood at 135,484. In November 2014, California voters passed Proposition 47, reducing the classification of most “non-serious and non-violent property and drug crimes” from felonies to misdemeanors.
 
The rationale for AB 109 and Prop. 47 was to reduce prison overcrowding, and they achieved that goal. On January 29, 2015 California’s inmate population dipped below the maximum level set by the court for the first time.
 
Case closed? Not on your life! Governor Brown has since qualified Proposition 57 for the 2016 ballot. The so called “Public Safety & Rehabilitation Act” will provide early release to tens of thousands of violent, dangerous and career criminals by using a calculated combination of good-time credits and rehabilitation programs. It will further overturn key provisions of Marsy’s Law, Three Strikes & You’re Out, the Victim’s Bill of Rights, Californians Against Sexual Exploitation Act, and the Gang Violence and Juvenile Crime Prevention Act – measures enacted by the public that have protected victims and made communities safer.
 
In 2015, the F.B.I. and the California Attorney General, issued reports confirming that crime is on the rise for the first time in more than two decades. Given that California has already achieved the federally mandated prison population threshold, as crime rates continue to rise, does it make sense to give early prison release to even more dangerous felons?
 
The evidence is as clear as the trend is disturbing. In 1993, Richard Allen Davis was but one of thousands of vicious, violent criminals given the rehab/good time credit ‘get out of jail free’ card. Within 3-months my daughter Polly was dead because Davis wanted to avoid A.I.D.S. by “getting a young one”. She was just one of 4,096 Californians murdered that year. Violent crime is on the rise yet Governor Brown wants to give early release to thousands of violent felons.
 
If Proposition 57 passes on November 8, we will enter a sinkhole of mayhem and murder that will target our daughters, sisters, mothers and other innocent citizens. To knowingly move down that path is insanity!
 

No Justice for Polly

Polly Klaas

Polly Klaas

I feel like I have been betrayed by my beloved California, as have the other families of people killed by California’s death row killers, who are responsible for murdering more than 1,000 people, including 229 children and 43 police officers. By extension the victim families and friends of the nearly 1,400 lifers that Governor Brown has paroled since taking office in 2011 have also been betrayed, as have the victims of the 18,000 felons who were released from prison early as a result of Governor Brown’s prison realignment plan.

Killer RA Davis

Richard Davis killed Polly Klaas

As a crime victim whose 12-year-old daughter was killed by an unrepentant and violent psychopath, I fully expected that it would only be a matter of time before justice would be served after Judge William Hastings imposed the death sentence with this admonition, “Mr. Davis, this is always a traumatic and emotional decision for a judge. You made it very easy today by your conduct.”

Alex Hamilton killed Police officer Larry Alasater

Alex Hamilton killed Police officer Larry Alasater

Unfortunately, in California, courtroom sentences literally aren’t worth the paper that they are printed on. Just the other day United States District Court Judge Cormac J. Carney declared California’s death penalty unconstitutional because a sense of uncertainty and delay, “violates the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment.”

Trailside Killer David Carpenter murdered raped & murdered at least five women

Trailside Killer David Carpenter raped & murdered at least five women

That Polly’s killer has been on death row for seventeen-years without being executed may be unusual, but it is certainly not cruel. It was cruel when he kidnapped, raped and strangled my Polly in order to, “avoid AIDS by getting a young one,” as was revealed at trial. It was cruel when the judge arbitrarily decided that neither he nor California’s other 747 death row killers will face the sentence imposed upon them by a jury of their peers. It is cruel when the will of the people and the law of the land are subverted by a powerful and unrepresentative minority.

Ramon-Salcido_mugshot.400x800

Ramon Salcido murdered seven relatives including his wife and two daughters

I will never understand how activist judges, the ACLU, the defense bar, and other prison rights apologists are willing to undermine the criminal justice system, betray victims and their families, and endanger innocent people for the approval of killers, rapists and thugs. That they seek the endorsement of society’s underbelly links them to depravity, amorality and future victimization, yet they will never be held accountable for their actions. Might these decisions and this trend represent the death of punishment in California?

California: Don’t Screw with the Sex Offender Registry

Megan's Law Namesake Megan Kanka

Megan’s Law Namesake Megan Kanka

The California Sex Offender Management Board is recommending an overhaul of the system that would change the criteria for lifetime registration, taking into account the severity of the crime and the likely risk posed by the offender. They recommend a 3-tiered system. Level one sex offenders, non-serious and non-violent sex offenders would be removed from the list after 10-years. Level two sex offenders, serious or violent offenders who are not high-risk would be removed from the list after 20-years. Level three sex offenders, sexual predators would continue to register for life.

 

As of 8/25/2013, there are 81,112 registrants displayed on the Megan’s Law Internet site. Information on approximately 30,421 other offenders is not included on this site and cannot be posted online. That means that more than 27% of registered sex offenders are already not subject to the terms of Megan’s Law. They are protected from public scrutiny.

 

A mechanism already exists to be removed from California’s Sex Offender Registry. Once convicted or adjudicated, this is lifetime requirement for both juveniles and adults. In order to be relieved of this requirement, juveniles adjudicated in juvenile court may petition to have their record sealed; adults may petition the court for a Certificate of Rehabilitation in some cases or a full Governor’s Pardon in most cases.

 

I can appreciate and understand that certain individuals: offenders forced to register because they were caught peeing on a fireplug, or those caught up in Romeo & Juliet scenario’s, wish to be distanced from hard core offenders, but this is a small sub-set that can be dealt with on an individual basis without a sweeping overhaul of the entire system.

 

We live in a society where the NSA can capture, organize, collate, listen to, and categorize every phone call made in this country, or an ATM can calculate our bank accounts from among 10’s of millions of bank accounts millions of times per day, down to the penny. Therefore, I would suggest that the CA DOJ needs an IT overhaul more than it needs a SOR overhaul if they are having trouble monitoring 100,000 individuals.

 

According to the CATO Institute, something like 90% of criminal cases end in a plea bargain. That means that the defendant agrees to plead guilty to a lesser crime and receive a lesser sentence, rather than go to trial on a more severe charge where he faces the possibility of a harsher sentence.

 

The cynical recommendations by the California Sex Offender Management Board are simply another attempt to weaken California’s criminal code. Look at some of the damage that has already been caused during Governor Jerry Brown’s administration:

  • AB 109 Transferred responsibility of tens of thousands of felons convicted for so called non-serious, non-violent, and non-sexual crimes from the state to the counties
  • SB 9 grants freedom to juvenile killers previously sentenced prison sentences of life without the possibility of parole (LWOP)
  • Prop 36 that effectively gutted the 3-Strikes and You’re Out law.

I am not opposed to tiering sex offenders. It would enable to public to better assess their threat. But that does not mean that huge numbers of individuals should be removed from the sex offender registry based upon an arbitrary number.

 

I will actively oppose the recommendations of the California Sex Offender Management Board just as I actively opposed AB 109, SB 9, and Proposition 36. Just look back before Megan’s Law, before 3-Strikes, before any attempt was made to hold criminals accountable. Back in the early ‘90’s when Polly was tragically taken from us California had soaring crime rates. We had the highest crime rates in history. After the implementation of these programs, and I know that they are controversial in certain circles; crime in California had been reduced by half. I think that this is a legacy to be proud of. I think attempts to undermine those efforts are cynical. I think they are based on flawed ideology and I think that they place the good citizens of California at risk.

Public Safety Continues to Deteriorate Under Realignment

By Criminal Justice Legal Foundation

Libra Tatt2When Realignment took effect in October 2011, many in law enforcement warned of the unavoidable consequences to public safety it would cause.  As the impact of shifting the responsibility for thousands of felons from the state to California counties began to play out, newspapers and television reporters have focused on the issue.  In recent weeks, news reports continue to paint a picture of innocent people fighting for their lives and property against criminals on the street because of Realignment.  The Sacramento-based Criminal Justice Legal Foundation has been compiling reports of crimes committed by criminals free under Realignment for over two years.

 

On February 18, a Central California  woman was luckily able to fight off a criminal who had broken into her home just hours after being released from county jail after conviction for a similar assault.  Patty Guerra of the Modesto Bee reports that 18-year-old Aaron Modisett-Hollie was arrested last December on charges of kidnapping, assault with the intent to commit felony mayhem or rape, and false imprisonment.  He was convicted on the assault charge and sentenced under Realignment to a year in county jail.  The judge reduced the sentence to 89 days after he factored in time served and good behavior credits.  But due to jail overcrowding caused by Realignment, Modisett-Hollie was released on Monday, February 17, after only seven days.

 Aaron Modisett-Hollie

Aaron Modisett-Hollie

According to investigators, hours after his release, Modisette-Hollie saw the woman in her front yard as he wandered her neighborhood and waited until she went back inside her house.  He then broke in through a window and reportedly threw the woman to the floor, but she used a shard of glass from the window to stab him several times.  Injured, he fled the scene and was later arrested.  Stanislaus County Sheriff Adam Christianson said that the crime was a direct consequence of Realignment, “We house the worst of the worst and we’re forced to release the best of the worst, all due to realignment and jail bed capacity,” he said.  Christianson mentioned that even before Realignment went into effect, his department was struggling with jail overcrowding, and this legislation has only exacerbated the problem.

 

On January 2, Raymond Moreno was arrested in Long Beach and later convicted on charges that include a violation of a gang injunction and being an ex-felon in possession of a loaded firearm, burglary tools and drug paraphernalia.  Prior to Realignment, these charges and Moreno’s prior record would have made him eligible for state prison.  Under Realignment he was sentenced to 180 days in jail and released on February 8 due to jail overcrowding.  On February 9, Long Beach Police report that Moreno approached an unsuspecting victim sitting in a vehicle in the area of 15th Street and Chestnut Avenue and attempted a carjacking, but the victim was able to escape and report the crime.  Moreno was later arrested.  Jonathan Van Dyke of the Long Beach Grunion Gazette Newspaper reports that Moreno is one of many convicted felons whose criminal history represents the dark side of Realignment.  The Long Beach Police Department reports that during 2013, there were more than 800 arrests from Realignment offenders.  Two were for murder, ten were for assault with a deadly weapon, and the rest were a host of other serious felonies.

 Erik Dean Boettcher

Erik Dean Boettcher

A February 20 story by Melissa Pinion-Whitt of the San Bernardino Sun reports that police in Riverside have arrested 34-year-old Erik Dean Boettcher, who was free on probation under Realignment.  Authorities say he abducted and sexually assaulted an 11-year-old girl who ran away from home.  On February 14, the victim told police of the attack and officers were able to arrest Boettcher days later.  Investigators say he picked the girl up and drove her to a secluded area where he sexually assaulted her before driving her to a motel where he gave her drugs and proceeded to sexually assault her again.  He is currently being held in county jail without bail.

 

Residents of the Northern California city of Fairfield are being victimized by increasing rates of robberies and violent crimes.  The city’s police captain believes a big contributor to the increase is Realignment.  On February 14, Ian Thompson of the Daily Republic reported that along with increases in violent crimes, the city has also been afflicted with a 43% increase in arson, a 25% increase in auto theft, and a 10% increase in burglary.  City police have partnered with county sheriff’s officers to keep tabs on felons that have been released from state custody, noting that the large majority of people arrested last year were individuals released under Realignment.

 

These stories and new reports indicating that probation officers in Los Angeles, tasked under Realignment with keeping track of thousands of sex offenders, are being overwhelmed and cannot respond to alerts from GPS monitors that have been cut off or otherwise disabled, should be a serious concern to the Governor and the California Legislature.

 

“But Governor Brown’s response has been to set a new record for granting parole to life sentenced murderers, rapists and kidnappers and cut a deal with federal judges to weaken California’s Three Strikes law so that more habitual felons can be released early from state prison,” said Foundation President Michael Rushford.  “How many law-abiding Californians have to become crime victims before those supposedly representing them in Sacramento take action to change this terrible law,” he added.

Support For Realignment Fades As Crime Increases

By Michael Rushford

Libra Tatt2In early April 2011, California Governor Jerry Brown signed AB109, a 423-page measure called “Public Safety Realignment” into law, purportedly to help comply with a federal court order which required the largest reduction of state prison inmates in the nation’s history.  The law accomplished this by increasing the “good time” credits for inmates participating in programs in prison, which reduced their required sentences in some cases by 60% and by making virtually all property and drug felonies ineligible for state prison.  The law also transferred most criminals coming out of prison from more restrictive three-year statewide supervision on parole to less restrictive county supervision called Post-Release Community Supervision (PRCS), a fancy name for probation.  Few in law enforcement were involved in the drafting of the Realignment law, which passed through the Legislature with only Democrat votes.  Many in law enforcement and groups which represent the interests of crime victims, warned that Realignment was guaranteed to increase crime.

 

At the time of Realignment’s passage, crime rates were hovering at 30-year lows and most of the public was ambivalent to a change.  The press coverage focused largely on the predictions of criminologists, sociologists, and sentencing reform advocates who promised that under Realignment thousands of criminals would be rehabilitated by local programs and the state’s prison population would drop dramatically saving millions in tax dollars.

 

After the law took effect on October 1, 2011, the Sacramento-based Criminal Justice Legal Foundation and a number of police chiefs and sheriffs, whose major concern is the safety of the people they serve, began to regularly report on new felonies committed by criminals left free and unsupervised by Realignment.

 

In January 2013, the FBI preliminary report for 2012 showed across-the-board increases in crime in California after six straight years of decreases.  Realignment supporters argued that the report was not conclusive because some California cities did not experience crime increases and that more time was needed for the new policies to work.  By the time the final FBI report came out in July of this year, still showing significant increases, some news reporters began asking tougher questions about Realignment.

 

In late August the Governor had recast himself as a law and order champion.  This pivot occurred after the activist panel of federal judges refused to delay the release of the final 9,600 felons from prison to meet their inmate population goal.  Governor Brown announced that he would not release any more inmates because it would threaten public safety.  Left unsaid was that his Realignment law already had.

 

In September, a poll conducted by the Public Policy Institute of California found growing public concern about crime, particularly among minorities.  The poll also showed that the public is aware that criminals are being released early under Realignment.

 

On October 29 the Wall Street Journal published an op-ed by Manhattan Institute scholar Heather MacDonald entitled California’s Prison Litigation Nightmare.  The piece documents the state’s decades-long failure to maintain its prisons and how activist judges utilized inmate lawsuits and manipulation of the legal process to orchestrate a massive release of criminals.  Ms. MacDonald’s larger article in the City Journal characterized Realignment as “nightmarishly complex” and having produced “a host of wholly foreseeable and potentially disastrous burdens on county sheriffs and city police departments.”

 

Supporters of Realignment suffered another setback in November when one of their own, the pro-rehabilitation Stanford Criminal Justice Center released its report entitled Voices from the Field, How California Stakeholders View Public Safety Realignment.  Rather than consulting other academics, this time the researchers talked to prosecutors, police chiefs and sheriffs.  What the report found is that “the most sweeping correctional experiment in recent history,” is causing burdens on California counties which “cannot be overstated.”  While maintaining optimism that a collaborative effort among the various agencies affected by Realignment may eventually result in reduced recidivism, the report acknowledges that most of those consulted want reform.

 

While the reality of the Governor’s Realignment experiment has been sinking in, its toll on law-abiding Californians continues to mount.

 

ShaunaOn October 30, officers with the Calaveras County Sheriff’s Office arrested two burglars after a high-speed chase that led them through several local streets and highways. Lucas Youngblood of the Calaveras Enterprise reports that one of the suspects, 26-year-old Luke Lahman, had a lengthy criminal history and had recently been released, as required by Realignment, from state prison to light supervision on county probation (PRCS) rather than the more restrictive state parole.

 

On November 5, Sacramento police arrested a suspect in a violent attack on an elderly couple that left the husband dead and his wife so badly injured that she died two weeks later.  Kim Minugh of the Sacramento Bee reports that 36-year-old Shauna Burton had been sentenced in July to 120 days for a domestic violence charge, a crime considered non-serious under Realignment, but was released only 53 days later and put on light-supervision under PRCS.  Burton, who has an arrest record dating back to 1997, faces charges for murder, robbery, assault with a deadly weapon, and car theft.

 

On November 20, police in Riverside County conducted a sweep aimed at parolees released from jail early under PRCS, resulting in 34 arrests. Craig Shultz of The Press-Enterprise reports that the arrests included weapon and drug-related charges, probation violations, as well as a suspect wanted for questioning in a recent kidnapping.  Of the 34 arrests, 32 were for new felony charges.

 

Last January, a dozen bills to reform Realignment were introduced in the Legislature.  All of these bills were killed or put over until next year, except one, which was made toothless with amendments. Maybe, in the face of continued crime and violence, the Democrat majority and the Governor will find the backbone to pass serious reforms to this dangerous law during the coming election year.

AB 109: The Release of More Inmates Like Throwing Gas on a Fire!

 

By Michael Rushford

inmates-2009-APAs California continues to experience an increasing number of serious crimes committed by habitual criminals free from prison under Realignment (AB 109) a panel of federal judges has ordered Governor Brown to release another 9,600 inmates by the end of this year.  This order has been appealed to the U. S. Supreme Court, which should delay any releases for several months, but the erosion of public safety under the Realignment law remains a real and growing threat to law-abiding Californians.

 

“If the inmate releases ordered by the federal court are upheld, it would be like throwing gasoline on an already serious fire,” said Michael Rushford, President of the Sacramento-based Criminal Justice Legal Foundation.

 

The Foundation has been monitoring the impact of Realignment on crime in California over the past 20 months.  A preliminary report from the FBI indicates that over the first full year under the new law’s requirement that criminals it defines as “low level” be kept in counties, crime rates have risen sharply.  The Foundation’s analysis of those reports is available here.
Statistics, however, don’t describe what the increased crime means in human terms.  Recent news reports from across California present the real picture.

 

Dustin Kinnear

Dustin Kinnear

Last month, 26-year-old Dustin Kinnear was arrested for the June 18 murder of 23-year-old tourist Christine Calderon in Hollywood.  Kinnear had been released from prison just 11 days prior.  ABC News in Hollywood reports that Kinnear had been arrested over 40 times prior to this attack, seven of those arrests stemming from assault with a deadly weapon.  Realignment does not classify assault with a deadly weapon as a serious or violent crime, which allowed Kinnear to be back on the streets the day he stabbed and killed Calderon.

 

Adrian Madrigal

Adrian Madrigal

On June 21, 62-year-old Napa retiree Don Buffington was stabbed to death in his home in what police believe was a burglary gone wrong.  The suspect, 24-year-old Adrian Madrigal, stabbed the victim multiple times in the torso, and then proceeded to steal jewelry from the home along with the victim’s car.  An article in the Napa Valley Register reports that Madrigal has had several encounters with Napa police over the years and was on probation following a 2012 conviction of assault with a deadly weapon, which Realignment ranks as a non-serious crime.

 

Joseph Munoz, a murder suspect, was arrested on June 23 after his girlfriend Cassandra Deleon lead San Luis Obispo Sheriff deputies on a high speed chase.  CalCoast News reports that deputies had been searching for Munoz after naming him a person of interest in a fight that left a 25-year-old victim dead.  Deleon, was free on probation under Realignment when she led officers on the chase through Santa Maria.

 

A family moving cross-country stopped on June 23 at a Southern California motel for a night of rest.  The next morning they discovered that their moving truck, containing all of their belongings, was stolen.  Doug Saunders of the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin reports that Los Angeles County Sheriff’s detectives arrested Andy Monreal (on the streets under Realignment) after finding roughly half of the stolen property in a storage unit.  Detectives also found a “significant amount of drugs” and a loaded firearm in the unit, and charged Monreal with additional felonies.  Monreal had warrants in two other California cities at the time of his arrest.

 

On June 27, police in Fontana were led on a high speed chase through residential neighborhoods in pursuit of Bryan Keddy, a man released under Realignment and wanted for dealing methamphetamine, which the new law defines as a non-serious crime.  Doug Saunders of the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin reports that during the high speed pursuit, Keddy allegedly rammed his car into a police vehicle to avoid arrest, but was eventually caught and charged with evading officers and assault with a deadly weapon, which Realignment also defines as non-serious crimes.  This is the third time Keddy has been arrested for violating his Post-Release Community Supervision.

 

AB 109 offenders are not only a problem in our communities, they are threatening the safety in county jails across the state as well.  Richard K. De Atley of the Press-Enterprise reports that jails in Riverside County are experiencing a huge increase in violent attacks, citing a 100% increase in violent inmate-on-inmate attacks, and a 50% increase in attacks on jail staff since 2011.  Hardened criminals, that prior to Realignment would serve their sentences in state prison, are creating a dangerous atmosphere for other jail inmates and staff alike.

 

Two stories published in the July 7 Sacramento Bee reported on the 2012 increases in property crimes and the use of methamphetamine in the county, problems that most counties across California are experiencing.  The articles cited cuts in police budgets and the increased sophistication of the criminals as possible causes.  “What these stories overlooked is the fact that Realignment has defined habitual car thieves and drug dealers as ‘non-serious’ criminals who cannot be sent to prison no matter how many times they are convicted,” said Rushford.  “This law is encouraging increased crime,” he added.

New FBI Report Shows Disturbing Increase in California Crime

Libra Tatt2

By Mike Rushford

A report released last week by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, documenting crime statistics in larger U. S. cities over 2012, provides more evidence that crime in California is increasing under Governor Jerry Brown’s Realignment law (AB109) according to the California-based Criminal Justice Legal Foundation (CJLF).  The Foundation, which has been monitoring crime across the state since Realignment took effect in October 2011, cites data showing that while nationally both property crime and violent crime either increased slightly or decreased, in California all categories of crime increased, some at several times the national rate.

 

While these statistics only document the first full year under the new law, which reduced the sentences and shifted responsibility for tens of thousands of habitual felons from the state to California counties, they indicate sharp increases in most crimes after decades of steady reductions.

 

“Between 1993 and 2011, violent crime dropped every year but 2006, when it increased by 1.2%.  Last year violent crime in California went up 2.9%, more than twice the rate of the rest of the country.” According to CJLF analysis, “Murders in California increased by 10.5%, while the nation as a whole saw a 1.5% rise.”

 

The Foundation also cites FBI statistics showing that, while rapes were down nationally, they increased by 6.4% in California.  Property crimes also dropped nationally in 2012, but increased in California by 9.7%.  The disparity in auto theft was even more dramatic.  California saw a 15% increase, while the national rate increased by 1.3%.

 

Supporters of Realignment initially promised that crime would not increase under the new law, and later characterized local reports of rising crime in many parts of the state as “alarmist” and “fear mongering.”  The Foundation suggests that this second FBI report, showing increased crime in California, bears out the concerns expressed by numerous police chiefs, sheriffs, and prosecutors that Realignment would jeopardize public safety.

 

For decades the state legislature ignored its responsibility to upgrade our aging prisons and address overcrowding.  This continued until two years ago when the courts finally ordered California to deal with the problem. The solution the Governor and the Legislature came up with was to dump tens of thousands of habitual criminals into the state’s cash-strapped counties and leave them there until they commit rape or murder.  Is anybody really surprised that this would result in increased crime?

 

THE RECYCLING OF CRIMINALS UNDER REALIGNMENT

By Michael Rushford

With the adoption of AB-109 in April 2011, California’s Legislature and Governor Jerry Brown announced that the State would no longer take responsibility for criminals convicted of roughly 500 of what they defined as “low level” felonies, such as assault, spousal abuse, commercial burglary, drug dealing, identity theft, and auto theft.  AB-109 (which the Governor called Public Safety Realignment) prohibits prison sentences for these offenders.  Instead the law requires counties to sentence them to terms in overcrowded local jails, or a combination of jail time and probation, home detention, or a treatment program.  At the same time, criminals released from prison, whose most recent felony was one of these new “low level” crimes, are automatically placed on county probation rather than the more intense supervision under state parole.  This includes criminals whose record of prior crimes includes child kidnapping, child sexual assault, home invasion, and murder.

 

As a result, repeat felons are being cyclically arrested and released much earlier and with much less supervision than they would have been prior to Realignment.  This continues until they commit a violent or serious crime such as rape, robbery, aggravated assault, or murder, leaving victims permanently scarred and sometimes killed.  Since March of last year, the Sacramento-based Criminal Justice Legal Foundation has been compiling news stories of crimes committed by criminals released under Realignment.  In February, the Foundation also reported on the FBI Preliminary crime statistics for 2012, which showed sharp increases for the first time in over 15 years in all categories of crime in California.
According to San Bernardino County Probation Department Spokesman Chris Condon, the way offenders are classified as non-sexual, non-violent, and non-serious is an issue.  “The most recent offense is taken into consideration for sentencing, not past offenses, which poses a problem all its own . . . “Three out of 10 people coming to us had serious violent felonies prior to their last offense.” 

 

Jerome DeAvila Raped & Murdered his Grandmother

Jerome DeAvila Raped & Murdered his Grandmother

Sex offender Jerome DeAvila was arrested February 26, 2013, for the rape, robbery, and murder of his 76-year-old grandmother in Stockton.  Her body was found dumped in a wheelbarrow in her backyard.  DeAvila had been in and out of jail about a dozen times over the previous 12 months for parole violations.  His most recent release was on February 20, 2013, after being arrested for violating his parole by not registering as a sex offender.  Despite a 30-day jail sentence, he was released one day after pleading guilty due to a court cap which mandates releases when jails reach their population capacity.  According to the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office, DeAvila was released under AB-109.  Records from the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office indicate that DeAvila was released within 24 hours of being arrested in almost all of his nearly dozen arrests in the past nine months.  San Joaquin County Chief Probation Officer Stephanie James said, “With so many people getting released early, jail is not a meaningful consequence.”

 

CaptureOn March 17, 2013, 28-year-old Anthony Ibarra was found murdered in Santa Maria.  Eight defendants have been charged with his death.  All six are facing charges of murder, street terrorism, committing murder for a criminal street gang, lying in wait, torture, and kidnapping. The special circumstances associated with this murder make the six offenders eligible for the death penalty. According to the Santa Maria Police Department four of the six charged were on Post-Release Community Supervision under AB-109 at the time of the murder.  Ramon David Maldonado, 37, Reyes Gonzales Jr., 42; Pedro Torres, 54; and David Murillo Maldonado, 55 each have served multiple prison terms and committed numerous parole violations.  Even though all four have a history of firearm offenses and gang activity, only their most recent offenses were considered when they were labeled as non-violent, non-serious, and non-sexual offenders and placed on county supervision.

 

1869525001385Transient sex offender Jerome Anthony Rogers was arrested for the November 14, 2012, home invasion murder of 76-year-old Mary Beth Blaskey.  According to San Bernardino Police Chief Rob Handy, Rogers’s DNA matches samples taken from the crime scene.  Rogers is also being investigated for the December 2010 murder of Wanda Paulin, 86, and the September 2005 murder of 90-year-old Josephine Kelley.  Rogers’s criminal history includes sodomizing a 14-year-old girl.  Rogers was sentenced to 36 months’ probation late last year for failing to register as a sex offender. 
Michael Anthony Wyatt, a felony sex offender, was arrested on a Clovis high school campus in March.  He was released from Fresno county jail because of overcrowding, a direct result of Realignment. Wyatt was rearrested on March 28 when a concerned parent reported Wyatt walking with two children down a street, which violated his probation.  He was heading toward a field where children were Easter egg hunting.  At the time of Wyatt’s arrest, officers found lubricant and condoms in his possession.  Since June 2012, Wyatt has been arrested and released more than 23 times under AB-109.  Some of these arrests include sexual battery and committing a lewd act.
On April 10, Sergio Ballesteros was arrested for the attempted murder of a man in El Monte.  The victim was stabbed in the neck multiple times but survived. According to El Monte Police Sergeant Ben Lowry, Ballesteros was on Post-Release Community Supervision at the time of the attack.

 

Over the past year, supporters of Realignment initially told Californians that the law was working to reduce recividism and saving tax dollars.  Later, we were told that compiling news stories about crimes committed by criminals set free due to Realignment was ‘fear mongering’ and that the FBI data, showing that crime was increasing was not conclusive.  Now we are being told that Realignment can succeed but it will take more time.

 

How many innocent Californians must have their lives ended or seriously damaged until the excuses end and our elected representatives in Sacramento take action to stop this?