MARTINEZ (KCBS) – Contra Costa County leaders see a potential snag in their efforts to balance the county’s budget. Specifically, there is concern about Gov. Brown’s plan to move state prisoners deemed a low level risk to county jails.

KCBS’ Dave Padilla Reports:

Brown has called for the transfer of thousands of adult convicts to county jails around the state, including the main detention facility in Martinez. Contra Costa County supervisor Federal Glover describes it as a decades-old facility with failing infrastructure.

“We also have a service demand problem,” he warned. “When people return back to the communities, there’s housing issues, job issues, issues of mental health.”

County leaders argue the main county jail has limited space while lacking adequate high-security bed space capacity.

“We’re concerned in all our areas,” acknowledged Glover. “Public protection is going to be one of the biggest areas, I think, in particular with the return of the prisoners.”

Glover said failure simply isn’t an option.

“The problems can be fixed and I think there are some models out there that you can look at.”

The projected budget deficit in Contra Costa County is $45 million, but that figure could climb by more than $20 million depending on the outcome of state budget negotiations.

County Administrator David Twa added that critical information has yet to emerge from the governor’s overall plan.

“Quite frankly, what we need is more details and we haven’t seen that in terms of how all of this would work.”

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