Date of Award

Spring 5-2015

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Organizational Leadership

First Advisor

Norm E. Abrams

Second Advisor

Andrew Shean

Third Advisor

Obed Magny


Realignment, instituted in October 2011, was California’s latest effort at prison reform by realigning responsibility for prisoners labeled nonviolent, non-serious, and non sex-related from the state to counties. Many of these offenders were in state prison upon conviction of property crime offenses. Realignment had a net decarcerative effect on offenders. Simultaneously, California cities’ officer staffing levels shrunk during the great recession. To determine what impact realignment may have had on property crime in small California cities, and to identify effective response strategies, property crime and officer staffing data was analyzed and a survey administered to the chiefs of those cities. Fifty-six California cities with a population of between 25,000 and 50,000 and their own police departments were studied. This study analyzed data for the full year before and after realignment’s implementation, 2010 compared to 2012. Analysis of these data indicated an overall trend of increase in property crimes reported to the police, and a significant decrease in officer staffing pre-and post-implementation. Many of the 36 chiefs who responded to the survey identified realignment as the primary factor in the increase of property crime, closely followed by overcrowding in their local or county jail. Of the response strategies offered in the survey, most chiefs said they had made progress on increasing partnerships with allied law enforcement agencies. Finally, a majority of the chiefs identified increasing partnerships with allied agencies the most effective strategy followed by the creation or reorienting specialized units to respond to the issue of realigned offenders.