- Associated Press - Tuesday, September 29, 2015

A report released Monday by the nonpartisan Public Policy Institute of California finds that the state’s 4-year-old criminal justice realignment helped markedly reduce the incarceration rate but had little effect on the state’s costs or on offenders’ rates of recidivism.

Among the findings:

- About 18,000 offenders were freed who otherwise would have been in prison or jail.

- The state’s prison population was reduced by about 27,400 inmates.

- By September 2014, county jails housed nearly 82,700 inmates, a 15 percent increase from before realignment.

- Because of jail overcrowding, counties released nearly 8,300 inmates who were awaiting trial in September 2014, up 18 percent from before realignment, and more than 5,900 inmates who were serving sentences, up 39 percent from before realignment.

- About half of 50,000 inmates who were tracked after realignment were arrested for new offenses within a year, about the same rate as inmates who served their sentences before the change.

- Violent crime remains steady, with about 400 crimes per 100,000 residents before and after realignment.

- The corrections budget tops $10 billion this year, up from about $9.6 billion before realignment.

- Corrections spending is at an all-time high when $1 billion in annual state funding to counties is included.

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Source: Public Policy Institute of California.

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