BERKELEY (KCBS)— The state’s plan to release non-violent offenders to jails in Bay Area counties may impact drug and alcohol rehabilitation programs. The under-funded programs could see an increase in clientele once the state releases low-risk inmates.
The courts have said that California’s prison system is well beyond capacity and the release to local authorities would ease overcrowding.
Governor Brown is pushing a Public Safety Realignment proposal that would do just that. But ex-felon Arthur League said he doubts that this is about improving the lives of inmates.
KCBS’ Dave Padilla Reports:
“The only reason we’re having this conversation is because California doesn’t have enough money to lock up more and more people. We’ve got to get real about this. It’s not a conversation about people,” said League.
League spoke at a community forum in Berkeley on the governor’s realignment proposal. Lindsey Bolar was there too.
“My story is I just did 23 years in prison. I’ve been out a year and a half and I’m a counselor at Options Recovery Services here in Berkeley.”
Bolar added that the agency has been successful in helping ex-felons with substance abuse addiction or mental illness problems.
The facility’s mission is to prevent these ex-felons from going back to prison. Bolar said unfortunately the state has cut funding for this program.
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