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California prisoner realignment adds to citizen risk

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Since prior to the actual beginning of the AB109 "Public Safety Realignment" program County Sheriff's, and City Police Departments have been raising the issue of public safety being degraded. The majority of the problems seem to go unreported now due to their near daily occurrence, even though the risk to the citizens in California remains much higher than it was prior to AB 109.

Most recently, on Sunday Dec 29, 2013 51year-old Wayne Eric Townsend was arrested by Calaveras Sheriff's Deputies. Townsend was arrested on several charges. Three of the charges were felony charges as noted below in a excerpt from the Calaveras Sheriff booking log.

• Violation of Parole (felony)
• Assault with a Deadly Weapon, not a Firearm (felony)
• Carrying a Concealed Dirk/Dagger (felony)
• Public Intoxication (misdemeanor)
• Battery on a Peace Officer (misdemeanor)
• Obstructing a Peace Officer (misdemeanor)

Townsend is a parolee from prison, he committed three felonies, plus three misdemeanors including the possession of an 11 1/2" knife, and yet from the booking notice posted by the Calaveras Sheriff Townsend spent less than a full day in custody.

Perhaps being drunk and disorderly in public doesn't warrant a return to prison in this case, however, as a parolee being drunk and with a concealed weapon in his possession, it would seem that Townsend presents at least a moderate threat to the citizenry.

To be fair in this situation, the Calaveras Sheriff might be faced with a jail which is already full, and even more seriously threatening prisoners could have taken precedence over the incarceration of Townsend for drunk in public. The fault for the circumstance is not likely to be able to be laid at the feet of the Sheriff's Department, the fualt for this situation remains at both the State and Federal level.

It was the US Supreme Court which directed California to come up with a plan to reduce the overcrowding in the State prisons, and it was the State of California which decided the best course of action was to turn the least violent felons loose on the streets. The blame, if any is to be assigned, resides with the governmental officers who made the choices which led to felons being sent back to local jurisdictions.

Those politicians who are in charge of maintaining law and order in a civil society have failed the population which elected them, in the case of the Supreme Court, they too have failed and there is no remedy available to remove the nine black robed individuals who have chosen to place the welfare of convicted felons over that of the citizens of the State of California...again.



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