By now you have probably heard about AB 109, otherwise known as “Realignment.”  Realignment was signed into law by the governor and effectively transfers responsibility for non-serious, nonviolent and non-Pen C §290 registerable sex offenders from the state to the counties. Realignment applies to anyone who is sentenced on or after October 1, 2011.

Here are some examples of what realignment means:

Sentences for most felonies that are nonserious, nonviolent and nonregisterable sex offenses (so-called “non-non-non felonies”), if the defendant also has no prior serious, violent or registerable convictions, will now be served in the county jail.  See Pen C §1170(h)(2)-(3).

Felonies with non-specified terms in the underlying statute will be punishable by a term of 16 months, 2 years or 3 years in the county jail.  Pen C §§18; 1170(h)(1). Sentences for these offenses may include a period of county jail and a period of probation not to exceed the maximum possible term.  Pen C §1170(h)(5).

Counties may permit electronic monitoring in lieu of bail (Pen C §1203.018) or home detention in lieu of jail (Pen C §1203.016). Time on electronic monitoring or home detention counts toward mandatory minimum sentences. Pen C §2900.5.

Individuals convicted of a current or prior serious or violent offense,  who are required to register under Pen C §290 or whose sentence is enhanced under Pen C §186.11 (taking more than $100,000 under certain circumstances), must serve their current term in prison.  Pen C §1170(h)(3).

Individuals convicted of felonies punishable by a prescribed term of county jail in the underlying statute will not be supervised after release; there will be no period of parole.

Prison sentences for non-non-non felonies will be followed by a period of up to 3 years of Postrelease Community Supervision administered by the counties. Violations of Post Release Community Supervision can be punished in many ways, including flash incarceration.  Revocations must be done by a new Court Revocation Officer.   Pen C §§3450-3458.

Beginning July 1, 2013, the parole revocation process will become a county court-based process. Until then, parole revocations will continue under the Board of Parole Hearings.

The new criminal sentencing provisions and most of the post-release and parole provisions are operative on and after October 1, 2011.

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