With the state preparing to shift responsibility of prisoners convicted of minor, low-level crimes on or after Oct. 1 to county jails, support is mounting for a resolution that would demand full funding for the plan before it goes into effect.
On Friday, the general assembly for the League of California Cities voted 381 to 0 in support of the resolution initiated by Glendora city officials.
Glendora council members and Police Chief Rob Castro gathered signatures in support of putting a resolution on the agenda for the League of California Cities conference.
The resolution demanded a commitment from Gov. Jerry Brown that the transition of prisoners convicted on or after Oct.1 would not go into effect unless full funding for the program is secured and constitutionally protected.
Law enforcement and government officials across the state fear that insufficient funding and lack of manpower to implement the program will have detrimental effects on counties and cities.
"Everything that is not funded by the state winds up on our shoulders as a community and the county," said Councilmember Joe Santoro. "We don’t think it’s right and we want to oppose it."
Despite outcry by county and city officials, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation insists that no state prisoners will be transferred to county jails on Oct. 1.
“Realignment is prospective which means only those convicted of low-level offenses on or after Oct. 1 will serve their time in county jail,” said CDCR Public Information Officer Dana Toyama. “All state prisoners currently in California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation’s custody will continue to stay in CDCR custody for the remainder of their sentence.”
According to Toyama, any inmates determined to be a mentally disordered offender will still go to state prison and counties will not be receiving this level of inmate.
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted last week to reject any mentally ill prisoners released by the state to the Probation Department without receiving mental health records in advance.
“With less than two weeks before the inmates arrive, the County is bracing for a catastrophic fiscal hit and a spike in crime,” said County Supervisor Michael Antonovich in a press statement.
According to Antonovich, the state is providing only 1,600 jail beds when as many as 8,200 beds are needed.
“The state’s reckless realignment plan shifting responsibility for thousands of parolees and felons will impact every neighborhood in the state,” said Antonovich.
The board’s unanimous vote gave the County Counsel authority to file legal action against the state, if deemed necessary.