Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger will revive a plan to house 15,000 nonviolent felons in county jail instead of California state prisons, a cost-cutting move that likely would result in some inmates leaving jail early, reports the Sacramento Bee. The governor will include the proposal in his May budget revision on Friday. His office warned earlier this week that the package will contain “absolutely terrible cuts” to shrink a nearly $20 billion deficit.
Local law enforcement agencies vigorously opposed a similar idea that Schwarzenegger floated in January, in part because the state would not have reimbursed counties for housing inmates. That proposal would have saved the state $291.6 million. The governor’s latest plan would pay counties just under $12,000 per inmate, officials said. That represents less than half the savings the state would realize by avoiding the expensive costs of prison incarceration.