Riverside County jails are filled to the brim because of transfers from state prison and new sentencing guidelines under AB 109, a sheriff's official said Friday.
Because of a federal court order requiring that every inmate in the county jails have a bed, the sheriff's department is being forced to relieve overcrowding through electronic ankle bracelet monitoring, returning parole violators to the supervision of state parole agents or through the early release of some "lower-level" inmates, according to sheriff's Sgt. Joe Borja.
Some 735 inmates who would have been sent to state prison for felony convictions or violations of state parole are being held in Riverside County jails, Borja said.
California is under mandate from the U.S. Supreme Court to reduce its prison population. In response, Gov. Jerry Brown issued a "realignment" plan to transfer inmates to county jails.
Under new guidelines, anyone sentenced to three years in state prison for a non-violent, on-sexual or non-serious crime is taken to county jail, Borja said.
"However, current jail records indicate that almost 20 percent of inmates convicted of these 'non' offenses are receiving jail sentences exceeding 3 years, with one inmate being sentenced to more than 14 years," Borja said in a news release.
The sergeant said that parolees are also filling up much needed space for 60 to 90 days.
"Prior to AB 109, these same parole violators would have remained in the jail's custody for only 1-2 days and then returned to the care and custody of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR)," he said.
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