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Humboldt County Jail population drops by 35 percent and counting

EUREKA- One month after voters passed Proposition 47, the Humboldt County Jail population has dropped by 35 percent.

More inmates are now appealing their sentences. The proposition turned some felony crimes into misdemeanors, including theft of up to $950 and drug possession. So far, nearly 120 people have been released from the jail. With more released each day.

“The problem is we have a lot of drug offenders that are out on the street right now and that is causing issues,” Undersheriff Bill Honsal said. “A lot of times they're only time of being sober is when they're in jail and now since we don't have jail as an alternative for drug offenses, then these people are going to be out on the street and they need treatment, they need incarceration at times to make sure there's public safety.”

According to the county, burglaries and vandalism are up. However, because the public voted on the proposition, counties cannot make changes to the law. In the next months, the Sheriff’s Office says they will be working closely with the District Attorney’s Office to find a way to combat this rise in crime.