TCA Inmate Realignment Plan Faces Funding, Inconsistency Worries


Skeptics are worried about funding and inconsistency in the “realignment” plan that may send tens of thousands of state prisoners to county jails, says NPR. “The program is funded for exactly nine months,” said Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones. “What happens after nine months, we don’t know.” Says Gov. Jerry Brown: “I’m not leaving Sacramento until we get a constitutional guarantee to protect law enforcement and the whole realignment process so that you get the funding you need to make the thing work.”

Sara Norman of the Prison Law Office says keeping low-level offenders closer to their homes, communities, jobs, and families is a good thing, but she fears it won’t be done right. “If that programming isn’t there, if substance-abuse treatment, job retraining, things like that, are not available to them, it could be a big mess,” she said. Norman notes that more than 20 California county jails that have court-ordered capacity limits because of overcrowding. Barry Krisberg of the University of California Berkeley Law School says with a lack of state oversight in the plan, there will be disparity in how realignment is implemented. “With a state with 58 counties and the diversity of California,” he said, “what we’re going to see is 58 varieties of realignment.”

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