AB109 • Proposition 47 • Proposition 57

Since the turn of the century, progressive politicians and civil liberties groups have demanded an end to increased sentences for repeat offenders to reduce what they feel is “over-incarceration” and racial disparities. In California these demands have resulted in 12 years of unprecedented reforms to its criminal justice system.

AB 109— Public Safety Realignment

In April 2011, four months after Governor Jerry Brown took office, he signed AB109 into law. The Public Safety Realignment law (which passed without hearings on a straight party-line vote) made most property and drug felons ineligible for state prison sentences. The law instead required that these thousands of felons serve their sentences in county jails. It also eliminated the tough state parole supervision for most felons released from prison, requiring instead that they be placed on less intensive county probation.

Since Realignment’s adoption, property and violent crimes have increased throughout California. Counties have been struggling to deal with overcrowded jails and repeat felons on probation. Sheriffs have been forced to address increased drug abuse and violence in county jails—noting that Realignment’s move of more felons and gang members into their jails has created a prison-type environment.

It took about two years before the offenders in this category upped their game to car jacking, burglary, armed robbery, and assault, some of which still carried prison sentences.

Proposition 47— The Safe Neighborhoods and Schools Act

While the state prison population began to rise, progressive billionaire George Soros and the ACLU financed Prop. 47, the Safe Neighborhoods and Schools Act. This measure, adopted in 2014, downgraded more crimes, including thefts of $950 or less, into misdemeanors. As a result of more car thieves, wife beaters, child molesters, and gang affiliated drug dealers filling the overcrowded jails, many were being released having served only a fraction of their sentences.

Proposition 57— The Public Safety and Rehabilitation Act

In 2016, Governor Jerry Brown and George Soros put Prop. 57 on California’s November Ballot. The Public Safety and Rehabilitation Act, billed as providing nonviolent offenders a chance for early release and rehabilitation, passed despite warnings from district attorneys and sheriffs that the measure would allow habitual felons with priors for rape and murder to gain release. The Governor denied this, but in 2017 a Los Angeles appellate court and a Sacramento judge both ruled that the warnings were correct. Prop. 57 also gave the Governor’s political appointees running the state prison system (California Department of Corrections & Rehabilitation) the unfettered authority to award good behavior credits to inmates, allowing serious and violent criminals to be released after serving one-half to two-thirds of their sentences with no public oversight.

In 2020, as the pandemic hit, pro-criminal politicians used emergency regulations supposedly to advance sentencing reforms. Governor Gavin Newsom released an estimated 10,000 inmates from prison, and local officials released an unknown number of offenders from jails, to protect them from infection of COVID-19. Bail was essentially abolished. This left hard core offenders on the streets in May of 2020 to join the George Floyd protesters and commit crimes with impunity.

Violent and property crimes have been increasing at an alarming rate ever since, while liberal groups have issued studies utilizing overall crime data during the rollout of Realignment, Prop. 47, and Prop. 57, to offset the striking increases in murder and aggravated assault with the drop in reported property crime. Police explain that the public has stopped reporting most property crimes, with the exception of stolen cars, because the officers no longer show up and, even if thieves are caught there are no consequences.


August 22, 2016
Governor's Inmate Release Law Increased Crime in Sacramento County

July 2, 2014
Realignment Fails on Prison Overcrowding, Cost and Crime

April 17, 2014
Very Bad Criminals Roaming Communities under Realignment

February 27, 2014
Public Safety Continues to Deteriorate Under Realignment

January 23, 2014
Governor Brown in Denial about Realignment

October 27, 2013
Realignment’s Assault on Public Safety Continues

September 27, 2013
Poll: Californians Are Concerned about Realignment and Inmate Releases

September 27, 2013
Poll: Californians Are Concerned about Realignment and Inmate Releases

August 28, 2013
Governor's Stop-Gap Plan on Inmate Releases Ignores Realignment Crime

August 2, 2013
Supreme Court’s Inmate Release Ruling Guarantees More Crime Victims

July 11, 2013
Victims’ Group: The Release of More Inmates like Throwing Gas on a Fire

June 19, 2013
Rural California Suffering Under Realignment

June 12, 2013
New FBI Report Shows Disturbing Increase in California Crime

May 17, 2013
Governor & Legislature Fiddle as Realignment Crimes Continue

April 18, 2013
The Recycling of Criminals Under Realignment

April 2, 2013
The Real Cost of Realignment

March 21, 2013
Governor Brown’s Realignment Protects Criminals While Counties Get Sued

February 19, 2013
The New California Crime Wave

February 8, 2013
More Evidence of Rising Crime Under Realignment

January 29, 2013
Dude, Where's My Car?

January 23, 2013
FBI Report Shows California Crime Rose Sharply in 2012

December 27, 2012
Under Realignment, Serious Criminals are Classified as "Low Risk"

November 28, 2012
Serious Criminals, Including Sex Offenders, Are Walking Free Under Realignment

November 15, 2012
State Clings to a False Narrative About Realignment

October 29, 2012
Criminal's Flooding In and Out of County Jails Under Realignment

October 24, 2012
No Celebration on the Anniversiary of Governor's Realignment

September 24, 2012
Lives Lost, Serious Crime Rising Under Governor's Realignment Law

September 20, 2012
Realigned Inmates Changing Jails Into County Prisons

August 21, 2012
Realignment Continuing to Drive Up Crime Across California

July 16, 2012
Realignment's Revolving Door Causing Increased Crime

June 20, 2012
Under Realignment: "Ain’t no one really worried about going to jail"

June 1, 2012
Victims' Group Says Realignment Supporters Are "Out of Touch"

May 21, 2012
More Evidence of Increased Crime Due to Realignment

April 26, 2012
Crime Increasing Under Governor Brown's Realignment Law

April 10, 2012
Counties Struggling to Handle Wave of So-called "Low Risk" Offenders

March 15, 2012
Legal Group Says Realignment Plan = More Crime Victims

The CA Crime Spike The CA Crime Spike: An Analysis of the Preliminary 2012 Data. By Kent Scheidegger, Legal Director, CJLF (June 2013).
CJLF Rationalizing Realignment Rationalizing Realignment. By Michael Rushford, President, CJLF. A perspective on California's return to alternative sentencing.
CDAA Realignment Analysis Prosecutors' Analysis of the 2011 Criminal Justice Realignment. By California District Attorneys Association.
San Diego Realignment Report San Diego County Grand Jury. Report on Realignment.