New law reduces oversight of parolees

Posted on June 8, 2012. Filed under: California State Budget, Crime, Parole, Politics, Public Safety Realignment |

A change intended to trim California’s budget shortfall has meant a more than sixfold increase in ex-convicts who are off supervision.

By Jason Song and Andrew Blankstein, Los Angeles Times

June 8, 2012

The number of state prison parolees freed from law enforcement supervision jumped more than sixfold in April as a little-known law that speeds up the release process took effect.

About 8,500 parolees were taken off supervision, a number that surprised many law enforcement officials who said they were racing to figure out how to deal with it. By contrast, about 1,300 parolees were discharged in March.

The shift has two major effects. It means those parolees will receive fewer rehabilitation services designed to ease their transition out of prison. And it also effectively reduces the powers police have to monitor their conduct.

When a criminal is on parole, police have broad authority to conduct random searches and arrest him on such violations as possessing weapons or associating with other felons.

“Taking away parolee status, from a law enforcement perspective, removes a valuable tool that officers use to ensure compliance with the law,” Long Beach Police Chief Jim McDonnell said. “We will no longer have the ability to violate their parole based on criminal behavior but rather we will have to arrest and prosecute them on a new charge, which is resource-intensive and time-consuming.”

The parole change was included in several laws that Gov. Jerry Brown signed last year to trim the budget shortfall by shifting from state to county authorities all responsibility for overseeing many prisoners and recently released inmates.

Under the new law, parolees who were last imprisoned for a nonviolent and nonsexual offense could be discharged in as little as six months.

Previously, they had to wait at least a year to end supervision.

Some law enforcement officials fear that a reduction in rehabilitation — which includes counseling, drug intervention and housing assistance — will make it harder for ex-criminals to get back into society and will make recidivism more likely.

“There is no reason to expect that they will be monitored or rehabilitated as they have been in the past,” Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck said.

Los Angeles County Dist. Atty. Steve Cooley agreed, saying that the change appeared to be designed only to save the state money.

“It’s not about public safety at all,” he said.

In April, nearly 5,800 of the discharged parolees returned to the Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside and San Diego county areas, where they were initially arrested, according to state figures.

California officials say the number of released parolees should level out within six months, but they acknowledge that the state is on pace to far exceed the nearly 21,000 discharged last year.

The increase in parolees’ releases is one aspect of sweeping changes in the way California deals with criminals in the wake of sharp budget cuts and aU.S. Supreme Courtdecision requiring the state to reduce prison overcrowding.

Thousands of criminals who would normally serve their time in state prisons are now being kept in county jails, raising concerns about overcrowding and the

possibility of forced early release of nonviolent offenders.

The change caught many by surprise, not just authorities but parolees as well. Former prisoners interviewed by The Times say they recently went to their usual appointments with parole officers only to learn that they had been released — and that the state would no longer pay for their care.

“I was scared,” said Danny Romero, who is enrolled in a residential rehabilitation center near USC and has been to jail six times, the last for commercial burglary. “I didn’t have any money … and I thought maybe I should go rob a store like I’ve done before.”

Romero’s rehab facility agreed to pay for his continued treatment, but many other ex-convicts have either decided to simply stop or could not afford to keep it up, advocates say.

Nearly 75 people have already left rehabilitation centers that contract with the San Francisco-based Haight-Ashbury Free Clinics, according to Demetrius Andreas, the organization’s vice president of community and after-care services.

Andreas worried that many will backslide into their old habits.

“Abruptly stopping in midstream is an open invitation to return to criminal activity,” Andreas said.

Some people released from parole are able to continue to find services, although they generally cannot pay for them. Mark Faucette, vice president of the Amity Foundation, which runs a residential rehabilitation center near USC, said he has 20 clients — including Romero — who are being treated for free.

“If we just kick them to the streets, we’re going to be paying for them one way or another,” said Faucette, who added that he wasn’t sure how long the foundation could continue taking people who cannot pay.

But many other released parolees are not returning to their rehab programs.

One man with a long history of drug abuse and mental health problems was making good progress at a Haight-Ashbury center, according to Michael J. Brenner, the group’s regional director. But “as soon as the agent told him he was off parole, he disappeared downtown,” Brenner said.

A week later, the man’s mother called Brenner, worried that her son had started his old habits.

“If you see him, could you tell him to please call his mother?” Brenner recalled the woman asking.

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Prisoner exodus in California continues, sparking safety concerns

Posted on March 23, 2012. Filed under: California State Budget, Crime, Parole, Politics, Prisons, Public Safety Realignment |

By Claudia Cowan

Published March 22, 2012 | FoxNews.com

Facing a budget crunch and pressure from the courts, California Gov. Jerry Brown is chipping away at the state’s tough-on-crime approach by shifting 33,000 felons out of the state’s prison system. Releasing prisoners early is rarely popular, so the governor came up with a new plan, coining it realignment.

“People who commit low-level offenses, or parole offenses, are now serving their time in the county jail instead of being sentenced to state prison,” explains California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation Secretary Matt Cate. The state has transferred nearly 22,500 prisoners, or 15 percent of the inmate population, to the counties since last October.

The problem is, many of California’s county jails are already filled to capacity, and are having to release inmates well before their sentences have been served.

In Los Angeles, Lindsay Lohan served only four hours of a month-long sentence. Lesser known offenders, like James Lucio and Angel Espinoza, were re-arrested for committing more crimes just days after their release in Gilroy.

Los Angeles County Supervisor Mike Antonovich doesn’t want those extra prisoners, and doesn’t mince words.

“The governor is nuts,” Antonovich says. “He has committed a political malpractice that’s going to threaten the safety economically, and the safety of every individual in this state, through this reckless policy and it ought to be repealed.”

Realignment supporters say that new methods of monitoring and rehabilitation will actually reduce crime from its current historical low, but it’s a strategy never tried on this scale before, and the state needs to shed another 15,000 inmates between now and next summer.

In exchange for taking on all those extra prisoners, California’s 58 counties are getting hundreds of millions of dollars from the state to pay for housing and rehabilitation. But the ACLU just released a report saying too much of that money is going toward rebuilding or expanding jail capacity, rather than on alternatives to incarceration.

Other critics are quick to call the governor ‘soft on crime’ and statistics show that during Brown’s first stint as governor 30 years ago, California’s violent crime rate soared 36 percent.

The governor’s realignment plan is just now being implemented, but bottom line is that, whatever it’s called, thousands of prisoners will be walking the street in the biggest shakeup of California’s criminal justice system in decades.

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Counties Struggle With New Probationers

Posted on January 12, 2012. Filed under: California State Budget, Crime, Parole, Politics, Public Safety Realignment |

Capital Public Radio

(Sacramento, CA)
Wednesday, January 11, 2012

County parole departments in California are in the third month of trying to integrate former prison inmates into county probation systems. Such inmates are classified as non-violent, non-serious, non-sex-offenders.  So far, Sacramento County has processed 700 of them, including one man, Aaron Suggs, who was arrested this week for sexually assaulting a woman and robbing her in her home.

Suggs was released to Sacramento County Probation as a non-serious offender under the state’s new “re-alignment” policy.  He had been in prison for drugs.

Alan Seeber is with Sacramento County probation.  He says the state’s classification of some parolees is flawed.

SEEBER:   “Say somebody was committed to state prison for assault with a deadly weapon and served five years of state prison time.  They were then paroled, completed their parole and then were subsequently arrested for something like a vehicle theft.  That vehicle theft would then qualify as a non-serious, non violent, non-sex offense.”

Suggs’ ten convictions in Sacramento were mostly for property crimes or drugs.

Sacramento County Probation is not sure how many of the 700 have already reoffended.   Dana Toyama with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation says the state is not tracking the number of offenders who re-offend, but counties are encouraged to.

TOYAMA:  “In June, funding will be re-allocated to the counties based on the actual impact of re-alignment to the counties. So, it’s important for counties to maintain good records and good accounting for how may offenders they’re seeing.”

Toyama says nearly 8,000 inmates were released statewide to the supervision of probation departments in November and December.  Both Toyama and Seeber say studies have shown local supervision of parolees can reduce the recidivism rate from two-thirds to about one-third.

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Man arrested in Sacramento burglary, sexual assault

Posted on January 11, 2012. Filed under: Crime, Politics, Public Safety Realignment |

Sacramento Bee 911
January 10, 2012

suggs.jpgA man accused of sexually assaulting a woman in her Sacramento home Monday morning has been arrested.

Aaron Suggs (pictured), 29, was booked into Sacramento County Jail on suspicion of burglary and multiple sexual assault crimes, and is being held without bail.

Sacramento police officers were called to a home on E Street at 8:46 a.m. Monday. The victim told police that she had gotten out of the shower and found that the back door of her home was open. When she went to close the door, a man grabbed her, then sexually assaulted the woman and ransacked her home before leaving with several of her possessions.

Detectives and crime scene investigators responded and an investigation led them to identify Suggs as a suspect, according to a Police Department news release.

At 8:07 p.m., patrol officers spotted Suggs at Seventh and L streets. He was quickly arrested, and officials said several items belonging to the victim were found in his possession.

Police said Suggs was recently released from the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation as part of the Post Release Offender Program and his supervision assigned to Sacramento County Probation because he was considered not to be a serious or violent offender.

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Parolee charged in strangulation of 21-year-old Huntington Beach woman

Posted on January 11, 2012. Filed under: California State Budget, Parole, Politics, Prisons, Uncategorized |

Contra Costa Times
Posted: 01/10/2012 11:13:01 AM PST
Ean Keith Brown, who was freed from prison and on parole for burglary, was living in the vehicle in a driveway in the 8300 block of Danbury Circle, Huntington Beach Capt. Russell Reinhart said. (Google Map)

HUNTINGTON BEACH – A 38-year-old parolee was charged today with strangling a 21-year-old woman in a recreational vehicle parked in his parents’ driveway in Huntington Beach over the weekend.

Ean Keith Brown was charged with murder and faces sentencing enhancement allegations for two “strike” convictions and serious felony convictions for second-degree robbery in 1995 and burglary in 2008, according to the Orange County District Attorney’s Office.

Brown, who was freed from prison and on parole for burglary, was living in the vehicle in a driveway in the 8300 block of Danbury Circle, Huntington Beach Capt. Russell Reinhart said.

The victim, Dolores “Arias” Fagan, 21, was living with relatives in the same block, according to prosecutors. The last time they saw her was when she left home about 5 p.m. Friday.

Brown is suspected of strangling Fagan in the vehicle between Friday and Sunday and leaving the body wrapped in a blanket, according to prosecutors.

Brown’s parents called police just after noon Sunday and asked them to check the vehicle, Reinhart said. Police found the body inside the vehicle, but Brown was not there.

San Bernardino County sheriff’s deputies and the California Highway Patrol began a chase of Brown about 4 p.m. Sunday on the northbound Ontario (15) Freeway, Reinhart said. Police caught up to Brown and arrested him just short of the border with Nevada, Reinhart said.

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California could lose 1,500 inmate firefighters

Posted on December 28, 2011. Filed under: California State Budget, Crime, Politics, Public Safety Realignment |

A prison realignment program will send low-level offenders to county jails, depriving the state of using them to help clear brush, cut fire lines and stop infernos from spreading.

By Michael J. Mishak, Los Angeles Times

8:22 PM PST, December 24, 2011
Reporting from Sacramento

When Gov. Jerry Brown and the Legislature shifted responsibility for thousands of state prisoners to county jails, some authorities said it would mean more offenders on the streets breaking the law.

Few saw another possible peril: the loss of more than 1,500 inmate firefighters.

Since World War II, the state has relied on nonviolent offenders serving time for such crimes as burglary, drug possession and welfare fraud to help clear brush, cut fire lines and stop infernos from spreading.

Fire officials say the prisoners, selected from a pool of those who exhibit ideal behavior in custody, can be as much as half the manpower assigned to a large fire.

“When things get busy, it’s the first thing we run out of,” said Andy McMurry, deputy director of fire protection for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.

Now, the realignment of inmate custody, developed to comply with a U.S. Supreme Court decision that overcrowding must be reduced in state lockups, is expected to keep thousands of those low-level offenders in county jails, where many could be released early because space is scarce.

Fire officials say they can sustain the number of inmate crews for now, but their forces will begin to shrink in 2013. The reduction, if fully implemented, would cut the inmate firefighting ranks by nearly 40%, according to the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, which operates the program jointly with Cal Fire.

State corrections and fire officials are working with local governments to head off that scenario with a separate training program for county inmates. But at a legislative hearing this month, county and local law enforcement representatives balked at the price tag — $46 per inmate per day.

Rather than stockpiling nonviolent offenders in county jails, some sheriff’s departments are considering cheaper alternatives, such as releasing them with electronic monitoring.

“Some sheriffs feel they can get a better bang for their buck,” Curtis Hill, a lobbyist for the California State Sheriffs’ Assn., said at the hearing.

In addition, he said, some jurisdictions would rather have offenders doing manual labor than waiting around for a fire. Losing county inmates to fire crews would hurt “the capability of local communities to use that population for their own projects.”

The issue is of particular concern to the Republican lawmakers who represent some of the state’s most rural areas, which are more prone to wildfires.

State Sen. Doug La Malfa (R-Richvale) wondered whether there would even be enough eligible inmates left in county prisons to volunteer for fire crews.

“If our lowest-level offenders have been ankle-braceleted and are out, how do we get them to come back?” he said at the hearing.

State officials countered that nonviolent offenders would continue to receive two days off their sentences for each day spent in a fire camp.

Assemblyman Kevin Jeffries (R-Riverside) said in an interview that maintaining inmate firefighting ranks is critical to public safety. Without them, he said, large fires would be likely to burn longer, causing more damage and increasing personnel costs.

“There really are no other resources,” said Jeffries, a former volunteer fire captain in Riverside County for nearly three decades. “It’s boots on the ground that put fires out. If you go beyond the utilization of inmates, the price tag goes up dramatically.”

Fire officials pledged to find a solution, arguing that the program’s benefit is significant to both the state and the prisoners.

“For a lot of them, it’s the first time they’ve done anything real positive in their lives,” said McMurry, the Cal Fire deputy. “It’s hard to put a dollar-and-cents figure on that.”


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Probation reports on realignment; concerns raised for public safety

Posted on December 19, 2011. Filed under: California State Budget, Crime, Politics, Prisons, Public Safety Realignment |

Written by Elizabeth Larson
Thursday, 15 December 2011
LAKEPORT, Calif. – County supervisors this week received an update on the state’s correctional realignment and what it means for Lake County, with the county’s acting chief probation officer warning of serious health and safety implications for community residents. 

On Tuesday, acting Chief Probation Officer Steve Buchholz gave a report to the Board of Supervisors on realignment, which includes supervising new probationers and housing in the county jail prisoners who formerly would have served their time in state prison.


The state’s correctional realignment, which went into effect Oct. 1, is meant to reduce the state’s prison overcrowding, as well as to save the cash-strapped state money.


Buchholz was accompanied by staff from BI Incorporated, the company hired by the county to help monitor the new probationers and run a day reporting center at 1375 Hoyt Ave. in Lakeport.


That center will require offenders to comply with ongoing reporting, intensive treatment and training, testing for drug and alcohol use, and classes to change criminal thinking, according to a report from the company.


So far, 23 people have been released under Lake County Probation’s supervision, said Buchholz.


The state sent Buchholz’s office 51 information packets on probationers – including the 23 already released – with his staff completing assessments on 40 of those individuals, he said.


Buchholz shared his concern with the board that offenders being released were incorrectly categorized by the state as “nonviolent.”


In fact, 90 percent of those slated for release into the community are “high risk” offenders, Buchholz said. Only one is low risk, and three are moderate risk.


One of those slated for release has two contagious diseases and a history of violence against law enforcement. Buchholz said that individual was of such concern that the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation actually called Lake County Probation to warn them about him.


Buchholz said state officials told his staff, “When this guy gets off the bus he’s going to be looking for victims.”


That subject is now sitting in another county’s jail after an existing warrant on him was found. However, Buchholz said the man could still be dropped off in Lake County.


Another individual brought to the county under realignment came from a secure housing unit at the state prison level. Within 48 hours of arriving in the county, he was using drugs and causing problems. Buchholz said he’s since been moved into residential treatment.


These so-called “nonviolent offenders,” said Buchholz, “are in fact, for the most part, a serious risk to our community.”


In addition to those probationers now under monitoring, Buchholz said here are 14 people who have been sentenced to county jail who formerly would have gone to state prison.


All 14 have been sentenced to straight jail time – not a split sentence where part is spent on supervision, he said. A 15th case currently is in court where the judge and attorneys have agreed it will be a split sentence, with four years in county jail and four years of supervision.


Regarding parolees who violated their release terms, Buchholz said 54 such individuals have been booked into the Lake County Jail since Oct. 1.


Formerly, they would have been sent back to state prison for a time, but now they will serve their sentence for parole violation in the county jail, he said.


Among the new responsibilities being handled by Lake County Probation, Buchholz said his staff now is expected to help with transporting prisoners from the prison system, a task that he said can be very time consuming.


He said some of those coming from prison have severe mental and physical health issues, and will impact the county’s mental health and public health resources.


Buchholz said eight of the 23 individuals released into the county so far are transient and homeless.


“That’s another issue that we’re fighting,” he said.


Concerns about needs exceeding resources


He said 18 of those released have been in enrolled in BI Incorporated’s day reporting center, which has a total of 50 slots.


Buchholz said he is very concerned about those numbers. He predicted that the day reporting center’s 50 slots, as well as the 50 slots in the Jail Employment Education Program that BI Inc. will oversee at the Lake County Jail, could quickly fill up and be exceeded by the need resulting from the realignment.


“Virtually every day something new comes up,” he said of the time-consuming experience in adjusting to realignment. “This is a learning experience for everyone, even those at the state level.”


BI Incorporated officials told the board they had hired six of eight new staff members locally, would begin seeing clients on Thursday and planned to hire two additional staffers for a satellite office to be opened in Clearlake in January.


They reported seeing a high number of individuals with mental health and substance abuse issues, and in response to a large number of American Indian clients have hired Pomo tribal member Thomas Brown to work with them.


Buchholz predicted the county would have 71 parolees under its supervision by the end of the fiscal year, which occurs June 30. Another 80 to 90 individuals who would have gone to prison likely will end up serving their time in the Lake County Jail.


“As time goes on it’s the proverbial snowball,” he said.


Supervisor Anthony Farrington asked why BI Incorporated’s facilities were located in Lakeport and not in Clearlake. Buchholz said they couldn’t find a suitable place in Clearlake, and saved money by having them locate in a county building in Lakeport.


Farrington said he guessed their caseload would be higher in the Northshore and Clearlake areas. Buchholz replied that 57 percent of the caseload of those under supervision live in the area from Middletown to Clearlake Oaks, with the rest of the county home to the other 43 percent.


He also reported that two people who were to be released in the county did not report to Lake County Probation as required. Buchholz said they were “in the wind.”


Supervisor Rob Brown pointed to a recent case where a parolee in another county was released as part of the realignment, only to kill someone shortly afterward.


Buchholz acknowledged that there are some extremely dangerous and violent people being released. He said he doesn’t expect some of those people to respond to the local programs in place to deal with them, but he said some will make positive changes.


Supervisor Denise Rushing asked BI Incorporated about measures that work, and they offered a brief overview of using evidence-based risk needs assessments to do targeted interventions.


Brown was unconvinced. “I don’t want to belabor this, because I think we all know what a disaster this is.”


He said convicts have chosen to be where they are. “We’re wasting resources on something that will be a miserable failure at the end of the day,” he said.


Supervisor Jeff Smith said he appreciated what Lake County Probation was trying to do, and he hopes it works.


Buchholz said he thinks there will be some successes as well as failures, adding that the money the state has allocated to the county for realignment – which he said in a previous interview with Lake County News was about $840,000 – won’t be even close to what is needed.


Brown condemned the realignment, which he predicted the public will tire of quickly.


“The public is much less safe as a result of it,” he said.

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CA parolee back on parole despite lewd gestures

Posted on December 15, 2011. Filed under: California State Budget, Crime, Parole, Politics, Prisons |

The Associated Press
Posted: 12/13/2011 04:56:37 PM PST
Updated: 12/13/2011 04:56:37 PM PST

SACRAMENTO, Calif.—A California inmate is back on medical parole despite committing lewd acts days after he was first released in November.

Fifty-six-year-old Peter Post was sent to a San Diego-area long-term care facility Nov. 3 after he was found to be permanently physically incapacitated after a brain injury. Post, who was in prison for burglary, was returned to a secure medical facility a week later after exposing himself and committing a sex act in front of female nurses.

Corrections department spokeswoman Terry Thornton said Tuesday that parole officials decided Post still meets medical parole criteria. He was sent back to the private facility last week.

She says parole officials “looked at whether he had the mental capacity to understand the consequences of his actions.”

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California’s county jails struggle to house influx of state prisoners

Posted on December 12, 2011. Filed under: California State Budget, Courts, Parole, Politics, Prisons, Public Safety Realignment |

Los Angeles Times

Published Friday, Dec. 09, 2011

LOS ANGELES — The early release of inmates in some parts of California is accelerating as officials at county jails struggle to accommodate state prisoners flowing into their facilities.

The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department planned to begin releasing about 150 inmates Friday because of overcrowding in county jails.

Sheriff Rod Hoops has decided to release the inmates, mostly parole violators or those convicted of nonviolent crimes, over the next five days. The inmates must have served at least half of their sentence, and have less than 30 days remaining on their sentence.

The move is a result of a U.S. Supreme Court decision requiring the state to lower its prison population by 30,000. To meet the mandate, those convicted of certain crimes who until now served their sentences in state prison now must serve their time in a county jail. No inmates are being moved from state prisons to county jails. But as these people are sentenced, they will be sent to a county jail rather than state prison.

San Bernardino is believed to be the largest county to start early releases since the so-called prisoner realignment began. Kern County made a similar move last month.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department is hoping to deal with the influx of state prisoners by developing alternatives to custody – such as electronic monitoring – for low-risk offenders awaiting trial.

L.A. County’s jails are expected to house as many as 8,000 state prisoners by mid-2012. Los Angeles County prosecutors said in a report that the numbers could fill up the jails as early as this month.

But sheriff’s officials said they don’t expect capacity to be reached until summer at the earliest.

“I don’t know what the turning point is going to be, but I don’t think the sky is going to fall,” said Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Chief Alex Yim. “We are looking for a measured amount of growth in the jail population. So we are ramping up programs like electronic monitoring and work release now.”

Up until now, San Bernardino County managed to keep its jails from overcrowding through work release and other programs. But with the system rapidly approaching capacity, the sheriff opted to make more room for new arrestees and higher-priority inmates.

The parole violators being released will have their criminal and custody history examined, and they will be placed under the supervision of state parole officers.

Some counties, including Los Angeles, are under court order to prevent jail overcrowding. So officials said that some inmates will be released to make way for the state prisoners.

Orange County Sheriff Sandra Hutchens has warned that none of the alternatives is ideal. Hutchens said, for example, that she’s unsure how many inmates can be trusted to serve time wearing GPS-monitored bracelets.

So far, some counties – including Los Angeles, Orange and San Bernardino – have reported receiving significantly more state prisoners from courts than the state projected.

State officials and some sheriffs believe the higher-than-projected number of state prisoners being sent to jails has occurred in part because defense attorneys waited until realignment took effect to settle their clients’ cases. By doing that, the attorneys were assured that their clients would get jail time instead of prison time.

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Inmates set to be freed

Posted on December 12, 2011. Filed under: California State Budget, Crime, Politics, Prisons, Public Safety Realignment |

Prison realignment leading to overcrowding
Mike Cruz, Staff Writer
Contra Costa Times
Posted: 12/08/2011 07:43:30 PM PST
Updated: 12/09/2011 06:33:41 PM PST

One-hundred-fifty parole violators could get an early release from county jails in the next several days so deputies can handle jail overcrowding that the Sheriff’s Department says is due to state prison-realignment plans.The county inmates will be released from today through Wednesday, the Sheriff’s Department announced late Thursday in a news release.

Those inmates who are released will fall under the immediate supervision of state parole officers, who are under the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

County jails have experienced a rise in inmates since the prison realignment began Oct. 1, according to the Sheriff’s Department.

A wide range of criminals, who would have served their sentences in state custody, now remain in the sheriff’s custody to serve their sentences. Additionally, a number of parole violators who would have served their time in state prison are also in county custody.

“Because of these dynamics, the county jail system is rapidly approaching capacity, and it has therefore become necessary to adjust the inmate population in such a way that room is made for new arrestees and higher-priority inmates,” the news release states.

Early release will be granted only to those parole violators who have already served at least half of their sentence and have less than 30 days remaining.

Other criteria being considered are the inmates’ criminal history and their conduct while in custody.

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