Fairfield councilwoman: State realignment lets felons loose

By From page A5 | March 19, 2014

FAIRFIELD — Letting felons loose has made a mess of the state, Councilwoman Catherine Moy said Tuesday before the council unanimously supported legislation backed by the California Police Chiefs Association and responding to the 2011 state realignment that critics call an early release program for prisoners.

Mayor Harry Price will send a letter backing Assembly Bill 1449 that notes more than 100,000 offenders have been diverted from state prison to county supervision since realignment.

Councilman John Mraz said the state realignment allowed Gov. Jerry Brown to get out of trouble with the federal courts but let inmates loose without adequately tracking them.

“I get the picture and it’s pretty bleak,” Mraz said.

The 2011 realignment – which followed a federal court decision that California’s prisons were overcrowded – has led to overcrowding of local jails, council members said.

Dawn LaBar, administrative analyst for the city of Fairfield, said the population at the Solano County Jail has climbed from 770 to 970 since realignment.

The legislation that won city support includes a requirement of state prison time for any sentence longer than three years. The state Assembly bill comes after a Stanford University analysis identified problems with realignment legislation.

The university study found that the 2011 legislation means only the current conviction is considered when an inmate leaving prison is placed under county or state supervision, the city said. If an offender has a minor current crime but a history of prior violent convictions – including sex offenses – these offenders may report to county probation rather than state parole, according to a city staff report.

Along with requiring state prison for sentences of more than three years, the proposed legislation allows an offender’s total criminal history to be considered when considering whether the county or state will supervise the parolee, the city said.

A total of 626 former state prison inmates are now on post-release community supervision in Solano County, according to the city.

Fairfield Police Chief Walt Tibbet told the council that the statewide association of chiefs, along with supporting the Assembly measure addressing realignment, is working with the governor to get more funds for local law enforcement.

“We’re the ones who have been left behind,” he said. “The support has not been there.”

Reach Ryan McCarthy at 427-6935 or [email protected]

Ryan McCarthy


Discussion | 10 comments

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  • Rich GiddensMarch 18, 2014 - 9:36 pm

    We need a bigger welfare state and police state? It all started with ''the great society'' and now big pig government wants even more! No! Turn off the welfare, food stamps, section 8 housing along with Obama phones.

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  • Tax PayerMarch 19, 2014 - 5:26 am

    All the more reason to own a gun and get a concealed weapons permit. We don't have enough Police to protect us against these repeat criminals our in society.

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  • The MisterMarch 19, 2014 - 7:01 am

    Good luck getting a concealed weapons permit in this county.

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  • S KMarch 19, 2014 - 7:33 am

    As soon as that 9th District Court decision that any law abiding citizen can get a concealed weapons permit, reaches the Supreme Court & the Supremes will rule the same way, per the Constitution, the Sheriff's Dept, whomever will not have a choice. And that will be an answer to all this crime, since the police really can not protect us. Back to the wild west, but it is necessary in today's times.

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  • CD BrooksMarch 19, 2014 - 8:27 am

    S K, I believe an old man and/or woman should be able to walk anywhere in this city at any hour and not be molested. I don't think we should worry about getting shot by local terrorists and children should be okay to play in the streets without fear of being run over or kidnapped. It would be nice to see young couples out for a stroll after a date or just hanging out and not worry about their safety. I would prefer that a solid police presence with enforcement and zero tolerance be the rule to prevent bad things from happening. The fact it might take citizens carrying guns scares me more than anything else. Do I believe they should? I am on the fence but if allowed I do know I'd like licensing, training and yearly renewals of certification to accompany ALL of them.

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  • EMSgirl64March 19, 2014 - 9:35 pm

    S. K. and CD Brooks, You both bring to light good points. It's not the obligation of local police to protect any one individual, rather, it's the community as a whole they're sworn to protect. It's our responsibility to protect ourselves and our families, and it's our right. More and more, we are going to hear stories of the good citizens of the state protecting their loved ones to include "killing" criminals who attack. So be it, though.

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  • James MadisonMarch 20, 2014 - 7:04 am

    Remember: when seconds count, the police are only minutes away. Who do you trust the most: felons with guns or you with your own guns?

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  • EMSgirl64March 19, 2014 - 9:24 pm

    I could not agree with you more!

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  • JBMarch 19, 2014 - 6:24 am

    I say let these folks go live with the judges and officials who want to let them out, see what happens then.

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  • Rich GiddensMarch 19, 2014 - 3:27 pm

    You got that right Bubba----let ''Jerry's kids' go live with that clown Jerry at Jerry's House. Turn it into a TV reality show on Bravo, Esquire or E! Channel networks.

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