Switch it Over

Shift to local jails means big changes in some counties

by Brian Leubitz

With the realignment shift towards counties, all of a sudden the 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.

11 thoughts on “Switch it Over”

  1. But are any of my progressive/liberal web buddies here as flabbergasted at the assassination of a US citizen without charge, trial, due-process???

    The first Black President has turned out to be quite Gangsta’ indeed…

    What’s the difference between the 2 national parties again???

  2. appalling.  Marcy Wheeler and Glenn Greenwald have been doing very important posts and analyses on it.

  3. There are going to be some problems with the realignment.  Count on it.  Some horrible murderer is going to be released by mistake and will do something terrible.

    However, on the whole, once the kinks are worked out, we are likely to see an improvement.  Here’s what I will be looking for: recidivism falls from 70% to, say…40%.  In addition, there are some big splashy crimes from those who are released early.  How will the public respond? I try not to think about it.

  4. are supposed to get the resources to handle this. Our county was already short staffed at the sheriff’s department.

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