In Los Angeles, they thought they’d receive 600 inmates in the first month under the new realignment plan. Instead, they received 900. In Orange County, inmates are being processed at twice the anticipated rate.

The challenge that counties are facing under the current rate of transferees is one of time. Orange County thought it would have until 2013 before it reached capacity at its jails and would have to find other options. Now, that could be as few as 6 months away. More immediately, some probation violators are being arrested, processed and released because there simply are no beds available.

Despite the challenges, the size and scope of the new program will likely prevent anyone from reaching a conclusion about it with any degree of certainty. As the Los Angeles Times reports, doing so would be premature.

From the Los Angeles Times:

The number of state prisoners arriving in county jails under California’s controversial prison diversion program is significantly higher than officials had estimated, adding new pressure on sheriff’s departments to figure out what to do with thousands of extra inmates.

Prisoners convicted of some nonviolent crimes began serving their time in county jails last month as California complied with a U.S. Supreme Court decision requiring the state to lower its prison population by 30,000.

Read the full article here.