AirTalk for September 28, 2011

Shake-up at Probation Department days before influx of parolees?

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In about a week, California will start cutting thousands of prison inmates and putting them on probation for the counties to supervise.

There are fevered rumors that Los Angeles County Probation Chief Donald Blevins is on his way out. WitnessLA was first to report yesterday that “multiple sources inside and close to the LA County Board of Supervisors’ offices” say Blevins was dismissed last week.

But Kerri Webb, a spokesperson for Blevins says, “There's nothing to substantiate [the news report].” Blevins was recruited from Alameda County less than two years ago to fix the troubled probation department. Up until now, he was thought too popular with LA County Supervisors to be ousted. Despite the fact that earlier this year, the unions associated with his department hit him with a “no confidence” vote.

All this comes a week before the state starts cutting thousands of prison inmates and putting them on probation for the counties to supervise. The new California corrections policy, known as “realignment,” was assigned to Blevins’ department even though LA County Sheriff's Department, under Lee Baca, lobbied for the role.

WEIGH IN

What could have led to Blevins’ ousting? Who will take over? Why does it seem so difficult for the county to hire and retain department heads? What does this mean for the realignment?
What could have led to Blevins ousting? Who will take over? What does this mean for the realignment?

Guest:

Frank Stoltze, KPCC Reporter


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