Los Angeles County District Attorney Steve Cooley says a new state law to force counties, instead of the state, to jail non-violent felons is a “horribly flawed plan” that would increase crime on the streets, reports the L.A. Times. He called it a “bait and switch” by the Legislature that attempts to solve the fiscal crisis by placing a burden on counties.
Cooley said there's not enough room in the county jails to house felons who would otherwise go to state prison. Already, county jails are being forced to release their own inmates early. Officials estimate that in Los Angeles County, about 7,500 non-serious, non-sexual and non-violent felons who would have gone to state prison will instead stay in county custody. Cooley's comments come as the county Board of Supervisors is finalizing plans on how to handle the state felons in the county system. The state law will go into effect Oct. 1.