Trying to stem the early release of jail inmates, Los Angeles County’s top fiscal officer has called for an extra $24 million for the Sheriff’s Department, says the Los Angeles Times. The figure is far less than jail administrators contend is needed. Chief Administrative Officer David Janssen recommended to county supervisors the reopening of nearly 1,800 jail beds to keep inmates behind bars longer.
Even with more money over the next three years, Janssen warned that a rise in arrests and the state’s delays in accepting inmates sentenced to prison would likely mean that the early releases would continue. Supervisors ares scheduled to vote on his recommendation Tuesday. Janssen’s plan falls well short of the $79 million over three years that Sheriff Lee Baca wants to reopen 4,000 jail beds and beef up security at the violence-prone jails, where five inmates have been killed since October 2003. Baca contends that he has little choice but to close jails and release inmates early. About 120,000 inmates have been freed early since 2002, with most serving just 10 percent of their court-ordered sentences for offenses that include burglary, minor assault, and drunken driving.