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Lessons Learned: The Santa Cruz County Story

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Due to California’s Public Safety Realignment Act, which transfers the supervision of lower risk inmates and parolees from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation to the county level, California’s counties are looking for strategies to address the influx of inmates into their local criminal justice systems. “In light of realignment, California counties should look to Santa Cruz as a model for systems change that reduces unnecessary incarceration, while emphasizing due process and offender accountability. Partnerships between practitioners and California-based data experts allow local justice administrators to identify and implement appropriate alternatives to incarceration. This collaborative approach is rooted in cultivating an efficient system that promotes long-term public safety” (p. 1). Results from this case study show: trends in historical crime, incarceration, and probation; analysis of Santa Cruz County 3-year snapshot for its probation and sheriff’s department (2007-2010)—sentences and release processes, offenses, time served, and release, and drug offense trends; and conclusion.

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16 pages