Criminal justice realignment, enacted via the Budget Act of 2011 and various budget trailer bills, realigns the responsibility for managing and supervising non-serious, non-violent, non-sexual felony offenders from the state to county governments. Under realignment trial courts are now responsible for conducting revocation hearings on cases where individuals released from prison violate their conditions of supervision.
The Judicial Council is involved in the administration of two community supervision initiatives that promote the use of evidence-based practices in the sentencing and supervising of felony offenders:The California Community Corrections Performance Incentives Act of 2009 (SB 678)
Collaborative justice courts, also known as problem-solving courts, combine judicial supervision with rehabilitation services to reduce recidivism and improve outcomes for offenders. Examples of criminal collaborative justice courts include community courts, drug courts, mental health courts, reentry courts, and veterans courts. Go to page
As part of the Budget Act of 2014, the Legislature allocated $15 million from the Recidivism Reduction Fund for a competitive grant program to be administered by the Judicial Council of California. The funds are designated for the courts to use in the administration and operation of programs and practices known to reduce offender recidivism and enhance public safety.
Effective November 5, 2014, Proposition 47 implemented three broad changes to felony sentencing laws.
On November 6, 2012 the voters approved Proposition 36 which substantially amended California’s Three Strikes Law (originally enacted in 1994) with two primary provisions:
1. the requirements for sentencing a defendant as a third strike offender were changed to 25 years to life by requiring the new felony to be a serious or violent felony with two or more prior strikes to qualify for the 25 year-to-life sentence as a third strike offender; and
2. the addition of a means by which designated defendants currently serving a third strike sentence may petition the court for reduction of their term to a second strike sentence, if they would have been eligible for second strike sentencing under the new law.