Anthony sees the public safety crisis as a supply driven problem, not an early release problem. He opposed the “prison realignment plan” AB109 and other early release ideas because shifting the burden to Counties without the resources to properly administer rehabilitation and reentry programs creates a significant problem. Los Angeles District Attorney Steve Cooley said prison realignment would result in the biggest increase in crime in California in 60 years. It’s clear that the foothill communities that make up the 25th Senate District have seen their neighborhoods become less safe due to AB 109. During several rounds of budget negotiations, Anthony stood firm in trying to get the state to set different priorities. Anthony argued that to release inmates at the very same time as job training, reentry and drug treatment programs were being decimated, would not result in safer neighborhoods or productive citizens.
In order to solve our prison conundrum, we must accomplish two very important goals:
- Raise the High School Graduation Rate
- Lower the Recidivism Rate
A 10% rise in the high school graduation rate will create billions of dollars for the California economy, and ensure that we have productive members of our society, rather than inmates.
California has the highest recidivism rate in the nation. Reducing recidivism by 20% would have a dramatic effect on reducing California’s prison population and increasing California’s fiscal stability. Anthony has authored legislation to set this goal. Releasing an untreated and ill prepared prison population onto our streets, or shipping them to county jails, will not help keep Main Street California safe, help the inmate or save the state any money, as 70% of inmates released reoffend and return into the system.