Since the state passed legislation in April 2011 to send 30,000 non-violent, non-serious, non-sex offenders and parolees to local jails, impassioned residents have vocalized their varying thoughts on how to deal with this realignment. The Sheriff’s Department has vehemently championed , while others believe rehabilitation programs and job programs will reduce the 70 percent recidivism rate rather than trying to house more inmates.
The County’s Parole department created the Community Corrections Partnership (CCP) to include all these voices and opinions into its Local Implementation Plan, required from all counties. Forty-eight California counties’ Boards of Supervisors have already approved plans.
The county solicited community feedback at and a weeklong comment period in response to Gov. Jerry Brown's realignment bill AB 109. San Mateo County’s plan will appear before the Board on April 24.
The plan’s primary goal is to reduce crime and recidivism amongst the realigned inmates. The county also decided that the plan must:
- Protect public safety through appropriate custody, supervision, and law enforcement activities.
- Create opportunities for rehabilitation and recovery.
- Provide case management, substance abuse, mental health, vocational and housing support services
The plan aims to help individuals successfully reenter the community with the following three practices:
- Community-Based Supervision
- Community-Based Services
- In-Custody Supervision and Support
Since realignment began in October 2011, San Mateo County has received approximately 173 post-release community supervisees from the state system. The county expects the supervisee population to peak at 600 from October 2012 through April 2013.
It received $4.8 million in AB 109 programs and grant monies for 2011-2012.
Where Will the Money Come from?
The state didn’t even invite San Mateo County to apply for a portion of the $602 million for realignment, and instead selected 11 other larger counties that will receive more inmates from the state.
However, four Supervisors share the Sheriff’s urgency to construct a new 576-bed jail - rather than the initial, though less popular location downtown - to ease the overcrowding in the current jails and make room for the new inmates.
Sheriff Greg Munks argued that the county is “as close to shovel ready as anything in the state,” reported the San Mateo Daily Journal, in contrast to some counties that received state money but may hold off for years before constructing any facilities.
Munks explained his legal obligation to provide current inmates, particularly at the , better sanitary conditions. The Grand Jury has come down on San Mateo County for its overcapacity of inmates, a violation of their rights.
Assemblyman Jerry Hill (D-San Mateo) is drafting legislation that would allow the state to shift money from building state facilities to building local jails.
Building trades have also supported the new jail, anticipating many new jobs. The county and Redwood City unemployment rate as of January 2012 - the latest figures - is 7.2 percent.
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