According to law enforcement and public safety officials in Merced County, concrete correlations between AB 109 and increases in crime rates can’t yet be drawn. Only a year and half into the Realignment plan, more data must be made available and analyzed before a true measure of success or failure can be drawn.

But that doesn’t quiet critics of the policy, who say that leaving criminals on the street, and returning criminals sooner to a life of crime leaves citizens vulnerable to crimes – especially non-violent and property crimes.

In Merced, about 600 additional probationers have been placed under County responsibility, but the Probation Department still only has its 24 officers. Meanwhile, the overall crime rate in the County went up by 25 percent in 2012. The unincorporated parts of the County saw their crime rates drop by 5 percent.

Outside of Merced, FBI crime statistics show that property crimes increased in 40 of the 69 largest cities in the State.

Read the full article at the Merced Sun Star.