SD Jails Prepare for Prisoner Influx

Officials say jails are not equipped for long-term offenders

By Mark Heaslet and Sarah Grieco
|  Tuesday, Aug 2, 2011  |  Updated 5:16 PM PDT
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SD Jails Prepare for Prisoner Influx

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San Diego prisons will soon have to house inmates from state prisons as part of the Criminal Justice Realignment Act.

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San Diego is preparing for a fundamental shift in managing criminals, as 4,000 inmates will soon be released from state prisons to be housed in local jails. The prisoners are non-violent, non-serious and non-sex offenders.

This shift in responsibility is all part of Assembly Bill 109, or the Criminal Justice Realignment Act. It is expected to cost the county $65 million upon full implementation, but funds from the state for the plan are not expected to cover the costs. Local county jails aren't equipped to house long-term offenders and prisons will need more beds and a variety of rehabilitation programs to accommodate the influx of new prisoners.

San Diego District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis said lawmakers in Sacramento are not providing the adequate resources for the overhaul.

“The idea is, locally we can do it better,” Dumanis said. “But if Sacramento won’t give us the money to do it better … then we’re going to have people on the streets that are not prepared to be on the streets and committing crimes.”

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