(Justin Willis Reporting)
Governor brown is trying to get the state's prison population reduced. But if inmates are released early from state prisons, will they end up in county jails?
By the end of the year, 7,000 state prisoners could be transferred to county facilities across the state. Some could go to private jails and some to state fire camps, but many will just be released.
It's a federal mandate Governor Brown plans to appeal and the Department of Corrections says inmates have already been reduced by 30,000.
Dr. Jeffrey Beard with the California Department of Corrections said "The plan is ugly. We don't like it, but considering the inmates we have left in our prison population, it's the best plan that we could come up with."
But the possibility of even more inmates headed to Fresno County has officials feeling overwhelmed. They just got to a point where they feel they can accommodate AB-109... and now this.
Fresno County Supervisor Henry Perea says the county won't be ready for it, at least not by the end of the year. "Unless they give us other tools, other opportunities on how to house prisoners. That's really the key," said Perea.
There's not enough room at the Fresno County Jail because it runs at, or near capacity every day.
Some prisoners will be on the streets, and many law enforcement agencies can't hire the officers to accommodate.
Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims, along with sheriffs across the state, are sending letters to Governor Brown, urging him to create the space needed for inmates... wherever they end up. "Sending the problem somewhere else is not a solution," said Sheriff Mims.
Sheriff Mims says a new inmate facility is still another 4 or 5 years away, which is one reason she's sending the letter to the governor.
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