County Prisons, Streets To Get More Crowded After Saturday
A meeting behind closed doors with the Governor didn’t achieve quite what the majority had hoped for, leaving Los Angeles County Supervisors scrambling for a way to deal with a startling number of inmates headed for the county’s prisons and streets on October 1.
The Supervisors requested the special meeting with Governor Brown on Monday and they met, but the Governor stood firm on his prison realignment plan, under AB 109, a measure passed to help balance California’s out of control budget.
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AB 109 moves the responsibility for lower level offenders, adult parolees and juvenile offenders from state to local jurisdiction. Come Saturday, thousands of inmates will either be transferred or turned loose on probation, with counties and corresponding agencies given a fraction of what it will cost to take care of them.
In other words, another unfunded mandate from the state – but this one comes with much higher costs.
Brown doesn’t see this as a problem, saying that AB 109 “will give local law enforcement the right and the ability to manage offenders in smarter and cost-effective ways.”
“There’s going to be a spike in crime and it’s definitely going to affect the county’s ability to protect the public,” said Tony Bell, Antonovich’s Communications Deputy.
Counties across the state will be required to provide housing and supervision to approximately 8,000 of those incarcerated in state prisons on lesser offenses. More than 9,000 additional individuals will be released, to be supervised by parole and probation staff.
“It’s important to note that these are estimates, we’re going to be tracking these numbers more carefully as we go, however, there is a projection that the number of people on parole could to up to as many as 15,000 in the second year and drop back down to 8,000 in the third year and pretty much stay static from that day forward,” explained Anna Pembedjian, who serves as Justice Deputy for Antonovich.
“This population, a portion anyway, will no longer be sentenced to prison, they’ll be sentenced to county jails. As time goes on, fewer and fewer people meeting this criteria will remain in prison.”
“Supervisor Antonovich has consistently warned that the state’s ‘Trojan Horse’ realignment plan will create a catastrophic fiscal impact on our counties as well as a spike in crime. Starting October first, we will have upwards of 17,000 new inmates or prisoners that will be in custody and/or on supervision…8,000 in custody, 9,000 on parole/probation supervision.”
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