Republican lawmakers, citing a number of high-profile crimes and presenting a victim in a wheelchair to reporters at a news conference, called this morning for adoption of a package of legislation to modify or roll back provisions of California's historic prison realignment.
In more than a dozen bills, the Republican lawmakers are seeking to return certain parole violators to prison, to increase penalties for offenders who disable court-ordered GPS devices and to increase funding for counties, among other measures.
The first of those bills, a measure by Assemblyman Mike Morrell, R-Rancho Cucamonga, was rejected by the Assembly Public Safety Committee last week. Democrats opposing the measure, which would send sex offenders who violate parole back to state prisons instead of county jail, said the bill runs counter to the state's effort to reduce its prison population under a court order.
Republicans expect many of the other bills to fail in the Democratic-controlled Legislature, as well.
The Republicans brought to their news conference a woman they said was attacked last year by a former boyfriend who had been arrested the previous month on a parole violation for failing to register as a sex offender. He was sentenced to 100 days in jail but served just two days due to overcrowding at the jail, according to the Republican lawmakers.
"This is beyond statistics," State Sen. Jim Nielsen, R-Gerber, said, motioning to the 21-year-old woman, Brandy Arreola. "There, ask Brandy if crime is going up."
PHOTO CREDIT: Assembly Republican leader Connie Conway, flanked by Republican lawmakers and supporters, addresses reporters at the Capitol on Tuesday, March 19, 2013. David Siders / Sacramento Bee