Saving lives, reducing crime

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Marie Waldron
Marie Waldron. Valley News/Courtesy photo
In 2011, federal courts ruled that California prisons were overcrowded – populations had to be reduced. As a result, Assembly Bill 109 was signed into law by former Gov. Jerry Brown. The state’s prison system was “realigned,” meaning the responsibility to incarcerate, monitor and track lower-level offenders would now rest with the counties, not the state. Eighty percent of incarcerated felons have substance use disorders, and in the San Diego region alone, 1 in 3 arrestees in 2018 tested positive for more than one drug. But county jails weren’t funded or equipped to hold felons serving long sentences, and they lacked programs necessary to treat/counsel incarcerated individuals in jails and those under supervised release from prison. Last year, I introduced AB 653 establishing a
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