Aril 5, 2011
On March 17th, the California legislature passed AB 109, the most far-reaching criminal justice legislation in many a generation. Among other startling changes, was the transfer of authority over parole revocation from the State Board of Parole to the individual County Superior Courts, while parole itself would become agencies of the counties, and thousands of state prisoners would be returned to County jails to finish out their sentences. Clearly, this bill will not be favored by everyone, but it is a step in the right direction, a return of less serious prison offenders to the counties they came from.
The governor has not signed the bill as of yet, and the provisions of the bill will not be implemented unless state funding for County parole responsibilities is provided to counties. It is an open question as to how the bill might effect the six pilot parole reentry courts presently being implemented and evaluated across Califiornia.