(Sacramento) - Assemblyman Jim Nielsen (R-Gerber) was joined by public safety leaders and families of crime victims today, speaking against AB 109, the Public Safety Realignment, during a press conference at the State Capitol. Every speaker advocated for the immediate repeal of the failed Realignment experiment, which has victimized hundreds of individuals since its implementation a year ago.
"This legislation, unlike any other before, has unleashed an unprecedented crime wave across the state over the past year, and it started in the very first week," said Nielsen. "This crime wave is real; AB 109 is not working."
Nielsen said that his experience as the head of the Board of Prison Terms affirms that there is no such thing as 'low level offenders.'
"There is no greater responsibility for our elected officials and our governors than to protect our lives and property," said Nielsen. "Through the implementation of AB 109 they have failed to do so and it constitutes the greatest mistake of this state government in the history of the State of California."
Nielsen pointed out to the fact that the courts' ruling was never to let inmates out before completing their sentences, but to fix inmate healthcare, the product of overcrowding. He also suggested that there are better ways to solve the issue without victimizing more innocent citizens in process. He suggested presenting the courts with a new plan that would not endanger public safety. He also suggested that there is an urgent need for tort and prison reform, which would lower litigation costs imposed on the state by an endless stream of inmate lawsuits.
Nielsen also advocated for imposing greater consequences for re-offending criminals, rather than significantly reduced ones, which is occurring under AB 109.
"There is only one way to make amends," said Nielsen. "Change it - repeal it and then redo it."