County handles 15 percent more inmates than expected | August 29, 2012 | Almanac | Almanac Online |


News - August 29, 2012

County handles 15 percent more inmates than expected

The number of inmates and parolees in San Mateo County as a result of "realignment" — the policy to shift lower-level offenders from state prisons to local jails — is about 15 percent higher than what state officials projected, according to a recent report presented to the county Board of Supervisors.

The report, called the Public Safety Realignment Local Implementation Report, shows that the number of nonviolent, non-high-risk offenders whose cases are being assigned to the county Probation Department instead of state parole is about 15 percent higher than what state analysts predicted when realignment began in October 2011.

The number of inmates being sentenced to serve time in county jail rather than state prison under realignment is also about 15 percent more than what was predicted, county legislative coordinator Connie Juarez-Diroll said.

"The state Department of Finance had run some early projections to give to counties to begin planning for realignment," Ms. Juarez-Diroll said. "We're finding that the numbers are slightly higher than what had been predicted."

Approximately 170 inmates who would have gone to prison have been sentenced to county jail under the realignment program, according to the report.

The influx of new inmates has resulted in a 53 percent increase in sentenced days at the jail facility.

About 82 percent of those inmates are men; about 31 percent are between 30 and 39 years old.

Approximately 260 inmates who were released under "community supervision" have had their cases newly assigned to the San Mateo County Probation Department under realignment. Nearly 87 percent of those have a moderate or high risk of re-offending, according to the report.

So far, around 26 percent have new arrest warrants, 19 percent have been arrested for new offenses, and 7 percent have had their probation revoked.

The majority of the released inmates under community supervision are from Daly City, South San Francisco, East Palo Alto and Redwood City. Around 13 percent are transient.

When realignment began last year, the Board of Supervisors requested that quarterly reports be prepared on the impacts of the plan on various departments.

—Bay City News Service


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