PART 1 OF 2: SHERIFF EXPLAINS EFFECTS OF PRISON REALIGNMENT ACT

PART 1 OF 2: SHERIFF EXPLAINS EFFECTS OF PRISON REALIGNMENT ACT

The Yucca Valley Town Council heard from County Sheriff John McMahon about AB 109, the Inmate Realignment Act, at its meeting Tuesday night. AB109 requires the state to reduce the number of inmates in prisons. Managing editor Tami Roleff reports that the realignment act is creating unanticipated problems. Here is part 1 of a 2-part report…
Sheriff John McMahon stressed that in order to meet the goals of AB 109, no inmates have been released from prison; the reduction has come from the number of inmates sent to the state prisons. “We sent 400 to 425 inmates a month to the state prison system prior to the realignment; now as a result of that we’re keeping all of them with the exception of about 85.” Since the jails were already full prior to the realignment act, 8,000 inmates have been released since AB109 took effect in October 2011. The Sheriff’s Department attempts to identify those who are least likely to re-offend, the “triple nons”—those convicted of non-serious, non-violent, and non-sexual crimes, such as property crimes. “But we’re having trouble finding enough folks that are in custody serving time for property crimes to release.” Keeping these more violent prisoners has created real problems in the jails, McMahon said. “Our assaults, inmate on inmate are up 100 percent in our facilities, and inmate on staff are up 50 percent.” Tomorrow, we’ll hear about how the Sheriff’s department is attempting to cope with the influx of prisoners.

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