Glendale Police Chief Ron De Pompa discussed how Southern California is seeing an increase in crime by repeat offenders a year after the passage of AB 109 when he spoke to the Glendale Noon Rotary Club on Nov. 8.
AB 109 was the public safety realignment bill that aimed to reduce the number of low-level inmates in state prisons.
A year after the law was implemented, De Pompa said, 22,000 felons have returned to the community in Los Angeles County. About 12,000 have been released from state prison and are under county probation. About 10,000 felons are sentenced in L.A. County to serve time in the state prison, but because of AB 109 they have to be kept locally.
“What that means is the L.A. County jail system is at maximum capacity, and felons are not serving very much time — if any time at all — and they are back on the streets, creating a revolving-door scenario here.”
With a larger potential for felons to come to the local area, De Pompa said the public needs to watch out for their neighbors and report criminal activity to law enforcement officials.
And because of the increase of felons on probation, the system is overburdened and cannot provide the level of supervision needed, he said.
Law enforcement officials estimate that to have an effective supervision rate, each probation officer should have a caseload of between 20 and 40 releases from state prison, but in L.A. County the caseload exceeds 200 to 1, he said.
And the re-arrest rate is up to 50% in just the first year of realignment, he said.
Rehabilitation of offenders is also a problem, he said, adding that more than 50% of felons released from state prison have drug addiction problems or mental health issues, and there is no money to pay for services to help them.
L.A. County is implementing teams to deal with the additional crime.
In Glendale, De Pompa said, the crime pattern is stable because of a robust crime analysis system to track trends.
Community partners are also a great help, he said. There are more than 100 Neighborhood Watch groups in Glendale, and people are watching out for their neighbors.
Fall Salon provides scholarships
The Glendale Art Assn. raised funds for high school student scholarships in October at its second annual juried Fall Salon exhibition at White’s Gallery in Montrose.
Along with the categories of Portraits, Landscapes, Still life, Abstracts, Animals, Photography and Sculpture, the association had a special category called Glendale Images.
Glendale artist Paul Chamberlain won first prize in the Glendale Images category for his painting “A Walk in the Glendale Hills.” In addition to prize money and a ribbon, sponsor Swain’s Art Supplies gave him a $300 gift certificate and displayed his work after the show. Chamberlain, who lives in the Scholl Canyon area of Glendale, did the painting on the hiking fire trail.
Raised in Eagle Rock, Chamberlain graduated from the Art Center College of Design. He has worked for 20 years in the advertising/graphic design field. His logo design still rides on the front of the Bay Area Rapid Transit train.
First-place winners in other categories were: Natalie Lundeen (Portrait/Figurative), Lynne N. Fearman (Land/Seascapes), Susan Sjoberg (Still life/Floral), Anthony de Santis (Abstract/Fantasy), Bienvenido Sebug (Animals), Mark Kennedy (Photography) and Anahid Moradkhan (Sculpture).
Best of Show went to Kenneth H. Goldman, a sculptor, for his whimsical man carved from a branch.
For more information on the nonprofit Glendale Art Assn., call (818) 399-8481 or visit www.GlendaleArtAssociation.com.
JOYCE RUDOLPH can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.