With the Governor’s Realignment plan well underway, the next battle is looming, how to appropriate the Redevelopment money. Counties are lining up for some $600 million in new funding, and many are hoping to use that money to increase jail capacities.

But reformers, budget hawks, and prisoner rights groups are hoping that the counties will use the money instead to fund reformation and rehabilitation efforts. They say that more beds will decrease the incentive for law enforcement to find alternatives to incarceration.

Citing the state’s atrocious recidivism rates, 67%, these reformers hope that the flexibility that the Realignment laws gave judges and prosecutors can be leveraged with new and improved programming to reduce the need for so many beds in California’s prison systems.

From the San Francisco Chronicle:

California counties are lining up to secure millions of dollars in state funds to expand jails now that Gov. Jerry Brown’s plan is under way to shift the incarceration of some felons from prisons to jails.

But while many county officials cheer the availability of $600 million in state funds to add more jail beds, opponents of prison expansion say building more incarceration space will discourage prosecutors, police and other public safety officials from seeking alternatives to lockups.

Read the full article here.