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Thousands May Serve Sentences In The Community, Not Locked Up

Aired 9/27/11 on KPBS News.

San Diego County unveils a plan today to deal with thousands of offenders who will stay in San Diego instead of going to state prison.

The state prisons are overcrowded, the state budget is broke. An estimated 2,000 non-violent, non-sexual offenders will move from the state parole system to the county probation department, starting next month.

Another 2,000 who would have been sentenced to state prison will instead be sentenced to serve time in San Diego County.

The County had less than six months to prepare for the change. Mack Jenkins, head of San Diego’s probation department, developed the plan with a committee of other law enforcement leaders. He presents it to the Board of Supervisors today.

“We do know,” Jenkins said,” that to try and do the same thing with these populations that the state has done, that there is flat out not enough money for that. That requires us to use different strategies and alternatives. ”

Hear more on this from KPBS Reporter Alison St John on Evening Edition Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2011.

Evening Edition airs weekdays at 5 PM and 6:30 PM on KPBS TV.

“Here in San Diego County we do have some limited jail space that is available now, but will rapidly fill up,” he said, “so our plan involves jail alternatives and custody alternatives to try and expand jail capacity.”

That means finding ways to supervise more offenders while they do time living in the community.

Jenkins said the state has promised San Diego $25 million in the first year. His plan spends $8 million to hire 75 extra probation officers.

Jenkins said there is no law yet to compel the state to make future payments, which could leave counties holding the bag.

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Avatar for user 'MiguelF'

MiguelF | September 27, 2011 at 7:30 p.m. ― 5 years, 5 months ago

Here are my thoughts ---> No this is wrong. Why do we need to hire 75 probation officers? we need more information in this article. How many probation officers are there now? How many parolees do they each handle? The State is simply dumping the problem on us. The problem is the parollee's not San Diego county's. By doing the math, it seems one officer can handle 26.6 persons who are "non-violent, non-sexual offenders". We then pay $106,000.00 for each of the 75 officers? 75 people also require a building and other resources which are not mentioned. It is not Mack Jenkins or the "committee of other law enforcement leaders" job to recommend only ==== one === option, else that would be a conflict of interest. This is just bad government. Here is an option: require each person on parole to monitor themselves by posting their status to the parole website or use existing resources to post their status. When the parole person is transfered they should sign the exit statement.

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