With law enforcers being furloughed across California, some observers there are vexed by the plan to reduce the state’s prison population by 27,300 inmates, in part by simply letting some go free. Some local law enforcement leaders and crime victim advocates say the loss of front-line officers has made communities vulnerable, reports the Sacramento Bee. They wonder how the state will keep its vow to release only low-risk offenders and keep tabs on them.
State officials say those released will be low-risk offenders who have been evaluated to determine whether they can be released safely with GPS monitoring. Corrections officials said they do not consider the plan, which trims $1.2 billion from the budget, to be an “early release” program, because most of the reductions to the inmate population would come through other methods, including sending non-citizens to federal authorities for deportation. Meanwhile, ProPublica.com reports that the California state crime lab, which has a vast backlog of DNA tests, was spared cuts.