In 2011, the United States Supreme Court upheld a lower district court ruling in Brown v. Plata that California's state prisons were so overcrowded that inmates were being denied adequate medical and mental healthcare to the point of it being unconstitutional. The Court ruled that California would have to decrease its prison population to 137.5% of building design capacity by the 2013-2014 fiscal year.
This meant that within two years, California had to crack down and cut its state prison population from 150,000 inmates to 110,000 prisoners. In response, in an effort known as Public Safety Realignment, the responsibility to house people convicted of specific non-serious, non-violent, and non-sex felony offenses shifted from state prisons and parole to local jails and probation in the 58 California counties. Supporters of Public Safety Realignment stressed that it would help increase the state budget, as less money would need to be spent on supporting an exorbitant number of inmates at approximately $47,000 a year (How Much, N.d.). However, opponents to Public Safety Realignment stressed that it would lead to local cities, towns, and neighborhoods being awash with criminals, and that the crime rate in the state would significantly increase.