DEL NORTE COUNTY JAIL BRINGS IN INMATES FROM OTHER COUNTIES TO OFFSET $700K IN LOST REVENUE
Crescent City, CA- Del Norte County is seeing a huge cut to their budget, they say all thanks to a California Assembly Bill that was passed last year. During their midyear budget review, Del Norte County found a projected loss of over half a million dollars. Jay Sarina is the Counties Administrative Officer and says this projection is for the 2012-2013 fiscal year.
Sarina told us, "It’s a loss of about $714,000 dollars over a year and a half… this happened at the implementation of when AB109 and realignment came into affect"
AB109 is a bill that returns non-violent state inmates to local jails, it took affect last year and now is causing a huge cut to the county’s budget. Del Norte County Sheriff Dean Wilson says the cut is mostly affecting the jail. Wilson added, "what we had to do is actually we are holding inmates form other counties who are paying us for bed spaces, to try and offset that loss of revenue."
Revenue lost from a treatment program that Del Norte County use to run. Before AB109 took effect Del Norte County Jail was already housing non-violent state prisoners while they went through an in-custody drug treatment program. Sheriff Wilson added, "The state would commit individuals into this program for 60 days and we had about 20 inmates here on average that were being paid for by the state of California to go through this drug treatment program."
But when AB109 took affect the program was suspended, and later done with completely. Leaving Del Norte County Jail with state prisoners that they are now forced to support. Sheriff Wilson added, "More numbers, more commitments, more terms of sentencing. And so the impact is 2 to 3 times grater than what originally anticipated when AB109 first rolled out."
Currently county officials are moving forward and trying to find ways to fill this gap in their budget.