Hoping to free up space in ever-crowded county jail systems, sheriffs from across the state are joining in to support a bill that would allow early release for terminally ill and severely incapacitated inmates.

If an inmate in county jail was determined to have less than 6 months to live, they would be released; or if an inmate was in need of 24-hour care they could receive probation in lieu of jail time.

District Attorneys, however, have largely taken a position in opposition to the bill. They see it as way to grant un-earned clemency to the state’s convicts. Other opponents say that the need isn’t great enough to warrant the program. In Los Angeles, ten inmates would have been eligible for early release or medical probation, saving about $908,000.

In Los Angeles County, incarcerating a severely ill inmate costs as much as $2,000 per day, compared to the $110 per day cost for a healthy inmate. The program is estimated to save the state $19 million per year.

From the Bay Citizen.org:

Faced with an influx of inmates, sheriffs across the state are backing a bill that would allow some felons to leave jail before they have completed serving their sentences.

The legislation would apply to inmates who are dying or are so physically incapacitated that they pose no threat to the public.

Read the full article here.