Orange County Sheriff Sandra Hutchens ruffled some feathers at the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation when she said that the state has transferred more than 30,000 inmates to local custody. While she’s backed away from that statement, she isn’t backing down from her claim that the State has underfunded Orange County by $10 million for incarcerating N3 offenders.

The budgetary shortfall that Sheriff Hutchens mentioned is only the deficit experienced due to incarcerating the inmates. The probation department and health departments could suffer additional deficits. Any shortfalls in the budget would have to be covered from the County’s general fund. But the State says that the County is receiving exactly the right amount – some $57.5 million this year. Next year, the County will receive $68 million.

Funding is established by a group of local government officials operating under the auspices of the California State Association of Counties. There, the constitutionally guaranteed funds are divvied up between all counties. Factoring into their funding formula is not only how many inmates will be supervised, but also what programs are being used to reduce recidivism, improve rehabilitation, and alternatives to incarceration.

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