Masters Thesis

Program evaluation: California Assembly Bill 109

The California Assembly Bill 109 Program Evaluation Thesis evaluated the overall effectiveness of the Public Safety Realignment Act. It noted the key objectives the legislation attempts to accomplish. The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation has shifted authority of eligible inmates from state to county supervision in hopes of decreasing the state prison inmate population, reducing recidivism, and remaining within budgetary constraints. The Rational Choice and Bounded Rationality Theories were applied to the generation of the program. A description of the evaluation study is provided; the researcher further detailed the overall design, outcome measurements, and study limitations. The researcher placed an emphasis on Kern County because it served as a local example for the changes made to law enforcement, mental health, and other local rehabilitative and correctional agencies. Results were presented and highlight the departments most affected by the Realignment Act. The key elements are analyzed in greater depth. The researcher compared the overcapacity rate, recidivism rates, budget, costs, and program implementations prior to and after the enactment of California Assembly Bill 109. The researcher noted implementation weaknesses and offered recommendations to strengthen the evaluated legislation.

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