The Kern County District Attorney's office has determined there were 1,057 more felony criminal cases filed in 2012 than the year before, an increase prosecutors attribute to the state's prison realignment.
Law enforcement agencies have repeatedly said since AB 109 went into effect Oct. 1, 2011 that there would likely be an increase in criminal activity and cases as a result of the legislation. The program's stated intent is to alleviate prison overcrowding by sentencing inmates convicted of non-violent, non-serious and non-sexual crimes to county supervision rather than state prison.
Chief Deputy District Attorney Mark Pafford said the district attorney's office received 17,754 complaints requesting felony charges in 2011 and filed 6,961 felonies countywide. In 2012, the number of requests rose to 21,973, and 8,018 felonies were charged.
In the city of Bakersfield there were 13,271 complaints requesting felony charges in 2011, and 4,717 felonies charged, Pafford said. There were 17,006 requests in 2012 in the city, and 5,769 charges were filed.
Pafford said the increase is mostly due to quality of life crimes, such as property crimes.