Voters Back Brown's Prison Plan, Lukewarm on Realignment

CPR photo/Ben Adler
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Governor Jerry Brown’s proposal to lease extra prison beds to avoid the early release of thousands of inmates has the support of a majority of Californians in the latest Public Policy Institute of California poll.

At least 50 percent of Californians favor the governor’s prison plan.  And nearly 80 percent oppose early releases.  But there’s growing skepticism about Brown’s other signature public safety proposal – the shifting of low-level offenders from the state to counties, known as realignment.

“Compared to when realignment was a concept, or when it was in its early stages, we’re seeing declining numbers of Californians saying they’re confident that their local governments can handle this issue,” says the PPIC's Mark Baldassare.

Still, Baldassare doesn’t see public safety concerns affecting Brown’s approval rating, which is holding steady at just under 50 percent.  And majorities of Californians hold liberal positions on several other hot-button issues: They support same-sex marriage, fracking regulations, Obamacare, and – for the first time – legalizing marijuana.

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