Under a new law signed by California Governor Jerry Brown, up to 30,000 low-level offenders would be transferred over three years from state prisons to local jails, according to KGO-TV in San Francisco.
The plan is expected to save billions by lowering the number of inmates who return to prison and keeping them closer to their homes where they can get drug treatment and mental health services. "The prison system has been a failure," Brown told KGO-TV. "After I left the governorship, the next several governors went on a prison building boom and they lost sight of management, they lost sight of reducing recidivism and really, public safety itself."
One problem is that the plan is unfunded. The governor had hoped to pay for the transfer program with the renewal of expiring taxes, but that is still being negotiated with Republicans. However, even if the funding is found, no one really knows if locals can handle the extra workload.
"We worked very hard for the last eight years in particular to be able to get the declines in crime that we've seen across the state, and now there is a concern that the actions driven by the budget will jeopardize that," Long Beach Police Chief Jim McDonnell, told KGO-TV.
California is under a court order to reduce its prison population. California has by far the largest prison population in the country with nearly a quarter of million men and woman behind bars.
To read more: http://abclocal.go.com/kgo/story?section=news/politics&id=8055398