California Prison Realignment Plan Takes Effect

ALAMEDA (KCBS)— Saturday is the first day of California’s massive prison realignment plan. This comes after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in May that the state’s overcrowded prisons constitute cruel and unusual punishment.

“We’re just going to be housing inmates that were going to go to state prison for what they call the three nons. Non-serious, non-violent, non-sex related,” said Alameda County Sheriff Greg Ahern.

KCBS’ Anna Duckworth Reports:

The sheriff anticipates getting 50 to 80 more low-level offending inmates per month as a result of the realignment plan.

Ahern said they’ll manage the extra load easily with extra space at Santa Rita jail in Dublin and by using the Glendire jail facility in Oakland. But that he’ll need to phase in more staff over the next year to handle the increase in the number of inmates.

“We are responsible for their care in custody and control and in order to do that we will need more staffing. It’s probably going to cost us several million dollars,” he said.

The Supreme Court’s ordered California’s prison population be reduced by 30,000.

Only non-violent, lower level offenders will now be held in county jails.

Counties are being funded by the state and by 2013 counties will be receiving $1 billion per year for their role in the realignment plan.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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