L.A. County Prepares for Incoming State Parolees and Inmates

Beginning Oct. 1, Los Angeles County will be responsible for managing about 8,000 felons released from state prisons over the next four years. The LA County Board of Supervisors will discuss a plan Tuesday to supervise both new parolees and inmates.

AB 109, signed into law earlier this year, is meant to help alleviate California's inmate overpopulation, which has led to inadequate health services in state facilities. Gov. Jerry Brown's public safety realignment law shifts responsibility from the state's 33 prisons to counties for offenders of non-serious, non-violent and non-sexual crimes.

"They're going to be coming fast and furious," Supervisor Gloria Molina said in reference to incoming offenders. "We need to be ready."

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The LAPD, LA Sheriff's Department, LA County Probation Department, as well as other city and county agencies will be impacted by the state's unloading of offenders onto LA County.

The state will allot $112 million to Los Angeles County for the first year, but Sacramento has made no financial commitments for the future to support this shift.

Los Angeles leaders have split views on whether the influx of offenders into the county will negatively affect crime rates.

"Consequences will be easily predictable," LA District Attorney Steve Cooley said, as reported by KPCC. "A dramatically spiking crime rate."

But the County Probation Department has plans to provide more rehabilitation programs than the state provides for parolees.

"We actually think we are going to enhance public safety by reducing recidivism for this population by giving them opportunities to change and providing the services they need to facilitate that change," said County Chief Probation Officer Donald Blevins.

More information on the public safety realignment law can be found here.

Raquel Estupinan is a graduate student at the University of Southern California's Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism, which has partnered with KCET-TV to produce this blog about policy in Los Angeles.

The photo used on this post is by Flickr user Tim Pearce. It was used under a Creative Commons License.

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This article states the County Probation Dept. has "Plans to provide more rehabilitation programs than the state provides for parolees" In February , the City of Los Angeles passed an ordinance that no more than two paroless/probationers may live in a sober living/group home. Many such homes were closed due to this ordinance. Where does the Dept Of Probation intend to provide new rehabilitation housing for the unprecedented amount of persons released from prison? Where is the funding coming from and when will these rehabilitation centers be built respectfully, Maryel McKinley PhD