How Will Kern County Deal With Realignment?

Realignment is how the state is dealing with prison overcrowding.  The main features are (1) the creation of County Jail Felonies, including possible split sentences, (2) increased sentence reduction credits from almost all local county jail inmates, and (3) most persons released from California state prison will not be on parole but will be on post-release community supervision, pursuant to a local realignment plan.  Kern County has embraced the state’s plan.

Realignment’s biggest change is creating ‘County Jail Felonies’: felony sentences served in county jail through sentences of more than a year. The normal triad is used, e.g., 16 months or two or three years. Thus, a Kern County Jail Felony sentence can be longer then a year, often much longer. The kern county court can execute the entire selected County Jail Felony term, or can execute only part of the selected term, and for the remainder of the term place the person under the supervision of the probation officer.  Realignment’s second biggest change is that most people released from prison will be released not on parole, but on the new Kern County-supervised Postrelease Community Supervision.  Time will tell how the county will fare with the new statute.

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