San Diego County supervisors unanimously approved a plan yesterday to deal with thousands of lower-level criminals by housing them in local jails instead of state prisons and requiring county probation officers to supervise them, but not before questioning the state for forcing the change on them, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports.
Gov. Jerry Brown recommended the state shift responsibility for felons convicted of nonserious, nonviolent and nonsexual crimes to the counties to save money and alleviate prison overcrowding, and the legislature endorsed the plan, which takes effect Saturday. “I enter this whole issue and discussion with a great amount of trepidation,” said Supervisor Greg Cox, who added that more than 250 inmates will be released from state prison next month to be monitored in San Diego County. “That to me is a very, very scary prospect.” Because the county's jails have room for about 800 additional inmates, the supervisors said San Diego may fare better initially than other counties where the jails are at or near capacity. “I just have this sinking feeling that somewhere down the line somebody is going to be out that shouldn't be out and do something that they shouldn't do,” Cox said.