Who should control the jail system in Santa Clara was an issue that had been boiling since 2010, and maybe even earlier. In 1988, voters approved a charter amendment that established the County’s Department of Corrections, and gave them authority over the prisons.
However, in 2010, part of the county’s budget solution was a consolidation of public safety forces, including the Department of Corrections. Many of the responsibilities of the Chief of Corrections were transferred to the Sheriff’s Department. That led to a lawsuit by a San Jose Attorney who claimed that the decision to transfer the duties violated the county’s charter.
Now, the question will be put to a vote of the people. On the June Ballot, the citizens of Santa Clara will be asked whether or not the County has the authority to move powers despite the 1988 charter amendment. That proves that the County never had the authority, claims the Santa Clara County Correctional Peace Officers Association. Now, they are seeking after-the-fact permission from voters.
From the Mercury News:
Call it a do-over by the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors.
In a controversial vote in June 2010, the board transferred most of the power over the county jails to the sheriff to reduce costs — a move critics say changed a 1988 charter amendment and thus required a public vote.
Now, almost two years later, the board is considering just that — a public vote.
Read the full article here.