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Early Release Draws Scant Interest In LA Jails

LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department has tried to reduce jail overcrowding for years by putting low-level offenders into home detention and work-release programs, but those efforts have largely failed to make a dent.

The Los Angeles Times reports Sunday that inmates eligible for home confinement claimed they were homeless. The program was abandoned in 2010, less than two years after it started.

Home confinement is still an option for inmates who volunteer and agree to pay for monitoring devices, but their numbers have plummeted.

Inmates have also proven reluctant to volunteer to be released to a work in a supervised job.

The newspaper says the lack of interest from inmates has forced the county to consider more expensive solutions to overcrowding, like contracting with other agencies.

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