LA county jails see inmate surge

Inmates at Chino State Prison walk the hallway on December 10, 2010 in Chino, California.
Inmates at Chino State Prison walk the hallway on December 10, 2010 in Chino, California. Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

L.A. Sheriff's officials say they've seen a larger bump than expected in the number of inmates sentenced to county jails in the wake of the state's 'realignment' plan, which seeks to reduce the number of low-level offenders sent to state prisons.

Assistant Sheriff Cecil Rhambo Jr. said Monday that since new rules kicked in on Oct. 1, more than 700 inmates have been sent to Los Angeles County jails who otherwise would have faced state prison time.

In a bid to save cash and reduce recidivism, the state passed rules requiring judges to no longer sentence non-violent, lower-level offenders to state prison for crimes such as auto theft, burglary, grand theft and drug possession for sale.

Rhambo says that so far, county jails are seeing an additional 235 inmates per week, more than the 170 officials had expected.

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