The people of California were told state prisoners with three years or less on their sentence would be sent back to county jail, to relieve over crowding under realignment. Nevada County Sheriff Keith Royal says prisoners with sentences of up to twenty-one years are now in county jails. The Sheriff says judges up and down the state have interpreted the new law to mean they do not have to sentence prisoners to state prison no matter how long their prison sentence is.
“Historically we would handle prisoners that were sentenced to one year or less. Now we’ve expanded to a variety of other prisoners and what we are seeing statewide are sentences that are very very lengthy. Santa Barbara just had a prisoner sentenced locally to 23 years and Yolo County just had one sentenced to 19 years.”
The Sheriff says county jails are not set up to handle these increases in the period of time. One man is in the Nevada County jail sentenced to six years. The Sheriff says the judges are holding the line on sentencing violent and sex offenders to state prison.