Forum Discussion Regarding The Local Impacts Of State Prison Realignment

By Nikki Garret Metzger

(Victorville)-– Victor Valley residents are invited to a public forum this afternoon to discuss the impending State Prison Realignment Program. As a result of Assembly Bill 109, signed by Gov. Jerry Brown on April 4th, county probation will be responsible for supervising certain state prisoners released on parole after October 1st.

The program transfers the responsibility of low-risk offenders from the state to counties. Offenders committing crimes that are of a non-violent, non-sexual and non-serious nature will no longer be sent to state prison but given to the county for sentencing. The plan increases the number of people on probation and makes certain crimes ineligible for prison sentences — decreasing the strain on an already overcrowded prison system.

County probation expects to have up to 6,500 “Post Release Community Supervision” offenders added to its caseload over the next three years, according to a press release. In addition, 3,600 convicted felons per year from San Bernardino County who would have gone to state prison must now remain in the local jail system.

The San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday will discuss a formal plan to deal with the realignment program, which includes robust supervision combined with an array of innovative programs and services to help offenders successfully reintegrate into “society, according to their press release.” Monday’s forum will provide an opportunity for the public and the press to hear details and ask questions.

The forum will be held in the Victorville City Council Chambers, 14343 Civic Drive at 3 p.m. Tomorrow, Monday, September 26th.

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