County jails were never designed for long-term housing. However, the realignment of long-term inmates from the state to counties has some Sheriffs weighing the best of the worst, and slating them for early release.

That seems to be the case in Riverside County, where the county has released 1,500 convicts early over the last five months, in order to keep beds available for processing, holding, and incarcerating more serious offenders.

According to a spokesman for the CCPOA, it is too early for there to be any correlation between early release and increased crime rates to be factually established. However, few stories have been publicized about release offenders being released early and re-offending.

From the Associated Press:

The number of jail beds in Riverside County east of Los Angeles was finally catching up with the region’s rapid growth when state lawmakers passed sweeping legislation that assigned thousands of inmates who would have gone to prison to their local lock-ups instead.

Almost overnight, the county of more than 2.2 million people was booking 200 new inmates a month and began early releases for hundreds of other, less-serious offenders to make room. In the past five months, the county has released 1,500 offenders early in a constant churn that forces jail deputies to decide which of their wards are the “best of the worst,” Sheriff Stan Sniff said.

“Ultimately, it becomes a crap shoot because dealing with these people, the crystal ball only goes so far,” he said.

Read the full article here.