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Prison Realignment Brings More Offenders Than Projected To San Diego

District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis and Mack Jenkins, chief of probation for San Diego County, talk to KPBS about prison realignment.

Bonnie Dumanis is San Diego County District Attorney

Mack Jenkins is Chief of Probation, San Diego County


Nine months into California’s prison realignment program, San Diego County probation officers are supervising more people than the state projected and county jails are at 92 percent capacity.

As of the beginning of July, 1,700 post-release offenders were under supervised probation in San Diego County, 799 of those offenders have been arrested for probation violations or for committing a new crime and 1,294 have been sentenced to San Diego County jail.

Six low-level offenders were also recently arrested on murder-related charges.

District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis said that does not surprise her.

“That is the problem we’ve all been worried about,” she told KPBS. “What non-violent means is by statute, and so you can have people that have violence in their past and gun use or possession, and career criminals, where just the last thing they were sentenced on was non-violent.”

However, she said, it’s “too early to make any broad-brushed conclusions from that.”

“But it’s cause for concern,” she added.

Mack Jenkins, chief of probation for San Diego County, said he does not think these arrests indicate a problem with the county’s supervision.

He said one of the individuals who was arrested had been reporting regularly to his probation officer, “but still made a decision to do a violent crime.”

Dumanis said offenders are designated by statute.

“The district attorneys didn’t have input into that process,” she said. “Really, we were sold a concept, and that concept hasn’t come to bear.”

She said county jails were meant only to be detention centers for up to a year, and that the county was told there would be a three-year maximum on jail time.

“It’s not three years, we have somebody in there for 10 years and five months,” she said. “The jails were not meant to be prisons.”

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