The San Diego Association of Governments produces a report entitled, “Local Detention Facilities in the San Diego Region”, which examines characteristics of adults and juveniles in jails and other facilities in San Diego County. Prior to this September report, the last publication came in 1999.
Until October 1, 2011, individuals that commit a misdemeanor or felony can be held in local (city or county) detention facilities pre-sentence and post-sentence for 12 months or less. These individuals can also be alternatively sentenced to serve Probation as an alternative to serving any time in custody.
View the report here.
However, if an individual is convicted and sentenced to serve a period longer than 12 months, they are placed under the jurisdiction of the state correctional system through the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR).
The Detentions report states, crime rates though declining over the past decade, the number of inmates housed in California’s prisons has escalated.
California’s chronic prison overcrowding and overextended parole system, Governor Brown signed AB 109 into law in April 2011. This “Realignment Plan,” takes effect October 1, 2011, and affects who is detained in our local jails and supervised locally by Probation.
Brown’s plan shifts responsibility from the state to the counties for incarcerating, supervising, and rehabilitating offenders who have committed non-violent, nonserious, and non-sexual crimes.
California Counties will also be responsible for providing supervision of Post- Release Offenders. These are inmates that are released after serving sentences for non-violent and non-serious offenses and who have no prior convictions for these types of offenses. San Diego County expects to absorb an additional 4,000 offenders annually.
In addition, it is estimated that the county will reach capacity in eight months.
The report claims one benefit of realignment is the reduction of inmate populations in state prisons, which is operating at 192 percent; the overarching concern by many is that any benefit could be undercut if the state underfunds their mandate to county public safety agencies.