Abby Sewell | Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles County officials agreed Tuesday to step up lobbying of the Legislature for more money to jail and care for lower-level felons who became the responsibility of counties under state prison realignment.
The law, implemented two years ago, was intended to reduce state prison populations. But it also has ended up saving the state a substantial amount of money, county Chief Executive William T Fujioka said.
Next year, according to state projections, Fujioka said, California will save $2.68 billion as a result of realignment, and will give $950 million to counties to help them implement the program, realizing a net savings of $1.73 billion.
“I don’t believe this program should have saved money for the state,” he said. “They shifted a population to us. At the same time they should have shifted appropriate funding to us…”
The department currently has a case load of about 10,000 former state prisoners, nearly 20% of whom have absconded from supervision and have warrants out for their arrest.
A substantial number of the former state inmates — about 4,000 — have been assessed as needing mental health or substance abuse treatment, and about 1,000 are homeless, according to the report…(Full text at Los Angeles Times)