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Realignment of Prisoners May Affect Inmate Fire Crews

What will happen to fire fighting camps such as Washington Ridge Camp north of Nevada City under realignment? State Senator Doug LaMalfa says the shift of state prison inmates to county jails is putting the public at risk. Senator LaMalfa says as many as one third of the inmate firefighting crews throughout the state could be cut under the proposal.

“Approximately one third could go away if realignment does not work out and local counties do not opt to become part of the program. State Park Corrections feels like they can supply about 2/3 or maybe approximately 3,000 or 2,500 of the 4,000 or 4,500 that are a part of this.”

One third of the fire fighting hand crews could be eliminated in 2013.The state has proposed that of the inmates returned to the county jails; Sheriff’s could sent some inmates back to the fire camps if the county pays 46 dollars a day. The action is being taken to lower the prison population and save the state of California money.

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