Realignment sends more inmates to already crowded LA County jails

Los Angeles County Men's Central Jail
Los Angeles County Men's Central Jail Corey Bridwell/KPCC

Los Angeles County supervisors are scheduled to hear an update Tuesday on how prison realignment is affecting L.A. County jails. One report suggested the influx of new inmates will force more early releases.

Under realignment, people convicted of non-serious and non-violent crimes go to county jails, instead of state prison. It’s part of California’s effort to abide by a federal court order to reduce its prison population.

The state estimates L.A. County jails will see as many as 8,000 convicts diverted from prison.

The Los Angeles Times obtained an internal report by the L.A. County district attorney that says the jails will be full by the end of the year. Sheriff Lee Baca, who operates the lockups, says he has the funding to add 1,800 more beds — well below the number needed.

The sheriff has said his department is developing an improved risk assessment system to identify which inmates are the best candidates to leave the jails early. Baca also wants to use GPS monitoring to track early release inmates.

District Attorney Steve Cooley has predicted the early releases will result in a spike in crime.

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