CALIF PRISON SHIFT - With the realignment shift towards counties, all of a sudden California’s once sleepy 58 sheriff positions become a whole lot more meaningful. Sheriffs will be in charge of far more prisoners, and the one who gets the lion's share of that is Lee Baca in LA County.
The so-called "prison realignment" beginning Saturday will transfer the state's responsibility for lower-level drug offenders, thieves and other convicts to county jurisdictions.
An estimated 9,000 parolees will be added to the caseloads of the Probation Department, whose workers already oversee inmates released from county jails.
The Sheriff's Department will have to find room in its jails for an additional 7,000 inmates convicted of non-serious, non-violent and non-sexual felonies.
Gov. Jerry Brown said Thursday this sweeping overhaul of the correctional system would help the state save money, reduce the 70 percent recidivism rate, and bring the state into compliance with a U.S. Supreme Court order to ease prison overcrowding. (LA Daily News)
To be honest, you can't get a whole lot worse than the current system. We still aren't dealing with some of the underlying problems in sentencing, but baby steps I suppose. However, if we could just fix our broken probation system, we would see that 70% recidivism rate falling rapidly.
The big question is how this will be funded. Gov. Brown has pledged additional funds for the prisons, but as of yet, most counties have big holes to close in their jail budgets.
(Brian Leubitz is a former attorney and the founder of Calitics.com where this column was first posted.) –cw
Tags: realignment, prison realignment, prisoners, California, Sheriff’s Department, Lee Baca, LA County, jails, LA County Jails, Jerry Brown
Vol 9 Issue 79
Pub: Oct 4, 2011