Governor scales back plan to increase local responsibility for criminals

California Governor Jerry Brown.
California Governor Jerry Brown.
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Governor Jerry Brown released a revised budget proposal Monday that gives local authorities more responsibility for inmates and parolees. It’s a scaled-back version of an earlier plan that local law enforcement officials didn’t like.

Brown wanted to give local law enforcement responsibility for most low-level offenders. He also wanted counties to monitor state prisoners on parole. And he offered local governments more than $1 billion to pay for the changes.

But that didn’t sit well with local law enforcement officials. They said their crowded jails can’t house more felons; they also worried that they don’t have enough officers or agents to monitor the most dangerous ex-cons.

So, Brown has now come up with a scaled-back plan. This one reduces the number of criminals that local law enforcement would house, although, the state will pay a higher rate to house prisoners serving three years or more.

The revised plan also says locals would manage only parolees convicted of low-level or non-violent felonies. But Brown’s new plan also reduces the money the state would shift to the locals from more than $1 billion down to $800 million.