Criminal Justice Realignment Act

California passed a series of bills which significantly change sentencing rules in the state. Generally, felonies that are punished by no more than three years will no longer be served in state prisons, but there is a long list of exceptions.

AB 109 is the main bill that reformed California's punishment scheme. The bill was significantly changed by subsequent legislation, AB 117. The Legislature then passed AB 116, AB118 and ABX17 to make relatively minor changes.

An overview is available at the California courts website. It also has answers to frequently asked questions. There is a good description of the realignment available at the California courts website written by Judge J. Richard Couzens and Justice Tricia A. Bigelow. They have also written about changes in presentence custody credits. There is also a discussion about community supervised release under new Penal Code section 3450 et seq. From the Santa Clara County Pubilc Defender's Office is a list of offenses that qualify for local local disposition.under Penal Code section 1170(h). A good resource is available at the the FDAP website.

(September 8, 2011, updated August 1, 2012)

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