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LA Mayor Villaraigosa and LAPD Chief Beck have joined County Supervisors in warning about "realignment," the shift of non-violent, non-sexual, non-serious prisoners from the state to local jurisdictions. They predict an increase in crime. But other leaders in other places say local officials can do a better job, cheaper with parolees and probationers who will be released in any case.  We hear the other side of the story. On our rebroadcast of today's To the Point, Barack Obama and Black America.

Banner image: Los Angeles mayor Antonio Villaraigosa (C) and police chief Charlie Beck (R) discuss crime statistics for Los Angeles. Photo by David McNew/Getty Images

Main Topic Prisoner 'Realignment:' Reducing Recidivism or Public Safety Nightmare? 25 MIN, 28 SEC

In the process called "realignment," some 33,000 inmates are being released from overcrowded state prisons by order of the US Supreme Court, with LA County Probation and the Sheriff's Department getting the lion's share. County Supervisors say they're not ready, and District Attorney Steve Cooley has predicted a rise in crime. The shift from state to county authority began this week and, yesterday, LA Mayor Villaraigosa and Police Chief Charlie Beck also predicted problems.

Michel Moore, Los Angeles Police Department
Wendy Still, City and County of San Francisco
Joan Petersilia, Stanford Criminal Justice Center

When Prisoners Come Home

Joan Petersilia

Main Topic Barack Obama and Black America 26 MIN, 54 SEC

Since the election of Barack Obama, the economic plight of blacks has declined more than that of whites and other Americans. Has he ignored the crisis? When the President addressed the Congressional Black Caucus a week and a half ago, he said black unemployment is almost 17 percent, the highest in almost three decades. He called it "heartbreaking" and "frustrating" that 40 percent of African-American children live in poverty with fewer than half believing they can achieve the dream of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. But he also chided the CBC for "complaining" and "crying." We hear the reaction of African-American leaders and the possible consequences for Obama's re-election.


Peniel Joseph, University of Texas at Austin (@PenielJoseph)
Cheryl Contee, Jack and Jill Politics (@ch3ryl)
Kai Wright, The Nation / Colorlines (@kai_wright)
Erin Aubry Kaplan, KCET / Los Angeles Times

Dark Days, Bright Nights

Peniel E. Joseph

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