Assemblymember Chris Holden’s Prison Realignment Bill: Keeping Mentally Disturbed Offenders Off Our Streets

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Sacramento - Following numerous calls for change to the state’s prison realignment program, Assemblymember Chris Holden’s (D-Pasadena) measure to prevent last-minute dumping of seriously mentally ill inmates on county streets, passed its first committee test today. This measure, which was narrowly defeated last year, passed with unanimous bipartisan support out of the Assembly Committee on Public Safety.

AB 1065 provides county probation departments with more time to identify, and plan for more intensive treatment and supervision of released offenders who were formerly classified as a mentally disordered offender (MDO). Under this bill, probation departments have 30 working days to thoroughly and properly put in place an appropriate supervision and treatment plan for these offenders.  Previously counties only received 5 days or less to prepare.

“Given more time to plan, the county probation department and county department of mental health can work out an effective treatment and supervision plan to ensure these offenders are off the streets and getting the help they need,” said Assemblymember Holden. “This is an unaddressed issue of criminal justice realignment that is need of some cleanup in order to maintain both patient care and safety in our communities.”

AB 1065 now moves to Assembly Appropriations for financial consideration.