By, Brianna Browne
Due to over crowding in prisons, the new realignment program is trying to keep non-violent criminals in county jail instead of state prison, but violent offenders will go to state prison. According to the Huffington Post in the past five years, prisons have had a 35% increase in inmate captivity and expect to grow to 45% by 2018. Even though there has been extra funds put into building prisons to hold larger captivity, it’s still not enough.
This program will help non-violent offenders who get released by putting them on probation instead of parole. Probation is a less strict version of parole. On probation a person must listen and follow all rules their probation officer gives them. The benefit of being on this new realignment program is that if a person on probation can follow the rules and check in with their probation officer every month for six months they can get off probation and be what some call a free man. Also on this realignment state prisons are supposed to release or move 10,000 prisoners to private prisons by December of this year. So far 4,900 inmates have already been moved. The government is asking for another three years to move the other 5,100 inmates.
This realignment was rushed into effect and has its flaws, such as now jails are over crowded with re-offending parolees. Also non-violent parolees can stay in county jail for up to five years on this plan. County jails were made for short-term sentences, typically less than a year, not for long-term sentences. Although there are flaws in this realignment plan, experts believe that this plan will have many good opportunities for everyone involved.