Rehab Gets Short Shrift as Fresno’s Jail Population Increases


Fresno County has poured millions of dollars into law enforcement over the past six months to manage hundreds of new criminals shifted from state to county hands. It eventually will add nearly 900 new beds and will hire nearly 20 probation officers. But the Fresno Bee says little money has gone toward rehabilitation for the new criminal population. No drug treatment has been added. No new mental-health services exist. No additional vocational training is offered.

County public-safety leaders say it’s just a matter of time before such services are put in place. But critics say the county is offering too little too late. The county was given responsibility for more criminals last year under the state-funded policy known as realignment. But without realignment-funded rehabilitation programs, critics say, more offenders will repeat their bad behavior and the cycle of crime will continue. “Fresno has always taken this old attitude of just lock them up,” Public Defender Kenneth Taniguchi said. “This is an opportunity for the county to do something different.”

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