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Law Enforcement Assesses Realignment One Year Later

Aired 9/28/12 on KPBS News.

Law enforcement agencies are looking at the rising crime rate in many San Diego cities and asking if it has to do with the influx of state prisoners to county jurisdiction under realignment. They gathered to take stock last night.

Law enforcement agencies are looking at the rising crime rate in many San Diego cities and asking if it has to do with the influx of state prisoners to county jurisdiction under realignment. They gathered to take stock last night.

It’s almost exactly a year since the state of California started sending non-violent prisoners back to the counties to help reduce the prison population. Some are in county jail, others are on probation.

Cynthia Burke of the San Diego Association of Governments keeps tabs on public safety trends in the region. She said cuts to prevention programs and changing demographics may also be to blame for the reversal in the crime trends.

“We had a variety of different factors to say why is crime going to all time lows,“ she said. “I think we’re going to have the same variety of reasons for why is crime going up. It’s impossible to point to one reason. But regardless of the reason, we all see these increases. We have people coming back to these communities after incarcerations, so what are we going to do? We can’t just keep locking them up.”

More than 2,000 former prisoners are now on probation in San Diego County as a result of the state’s budget cutting program.

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