No more inmates sent to county as state works to lower prison populations

REGION — Thanks to recent legislation, San Diego County will not receive additional inmates as the state is forced to further reduce its prison populations by the thousands by early next year. 

On Oct. 15, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear Gov. Jerry Brown’s latest appeal regarding the court-ordered prison population cap, which is set at 137.5 percent of the prisons’ designed capacity.

The refusal upheld a three federal judge panel’s initial denial of Brown’s appeal.

But rather than sending surplus inmates to all counties or releasing them early, a bill passed in September enables the state to send inmates to counties that offer available beds and to private and out-of-state facilities.

Senate Bill (SB) 105 enables the state to spend $315 million on transferring inmates to Alameda and Los Angeles County jails, which have offered to lease their extra beds, and to the private and out-of-state facilities.

“I don’t believe that San Diego County has reason to be concerned that reaching the targeted cap will risk additional inmates being transferred to county responsibility or to being early released,” San Diego County Chief Probation Officer Mack Jenkins said, citing SB 105.

Instead, corrections officials are focusing on reevaluating the county’s prison realignment implementation plan to ensure that it is still effectively meeting the needs of realigned offenders, he said.

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