Grand jury: Orange County agencies underestimated inmates coming in from realignment

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An Orange County grand jury report issued Friday says county law enforcement agencies underestimated the number of prisoners the state would send to county jails under the realignment program, a statute put in place to reduce prison overcrowding.

California has transferred about 15 percent of its prison population to the counties since last October. Projections were made by county sheriffs throughout the state based on numbers from California officials.

Turns out that, in Orange County, the numbers were off... by a lot.

The Orange County grand jury says the county sheriff's department and probation department underestimated how many inmates were expected.

County law enforcement officials were told to prepare for about 143 inmates, but the Orange County Sheriff’s Department has since received twice that number.

The grand jury report says the county’s probation department also underestimated the number of inmates they’d get from the state to supervise.

The report calls on the Sheriff's Department and the probation department to provide better estimates for the 2012-13 fiscal year.

Before the prisoner transfers, officials said lower crime rates meant Orange County jail facilities had space to take on the added burden.

The grand jury also wants a county agency to compare crime rates before and after realignment and submit their findings before the end of this year.

The grand jury's report can be seen below.

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