California launched its prison realignment plan on Saturday October 1st. In an effort to reduce prison overcrowding, low-level offenders will be housed in county jails instead of state prisons. Nevada County Sheriff Keith Royal says counties will be accepting prisoners which he describes as non-serious, non violent and non sex offenders.
“Originally when it started off it was going to be prisoners sentenced to state prison with sentences of less than three year. So we would have them for about 18 months. And then we started recognizing that we did not want the sex offenders, the violent offenders and as a result, we worked to craft a law so that we would not get that population.”
Royal says there are still some issues regarding non violent offenders who may receive multiple sentences.
“So let’s say he got sentenced for single five years, but they were going to be consecutive, you could do five years in the local facility. So it raises new dynamics on who the prisoners are going to be that we actually end up with when all is done.”
Another issue has been funding to house prisoners. Governor Brown says he will push for a constitutional amendment to guarantee counties always have the funds needed for realignment. Part of that plan may involve a ballot measure to raise taxes to support counties.