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The Rise and Fall in California’s Prison Population

The state of California recently implemented a prison realignment plan for the purpose of remediating the problem of overcrowding in state prisons. Unfortunately, it has had an unforeseen side-effect. Counties across the state of California are now short on funds for community corrections performance grants. In previous years, counties were given hundreds of millions in order to fund these grants whereas this has now been cut by Governor Jerry Brown to a mere $35 million. What exactly are these grants and why is it important that their funding has been cut?

These grants are issued by counties to probation departments. The probation departments in turn use this funding to reduce the number of felons that get sent back to state prison afterprobation violations or for repeating an offense. When the state of California doesn’t have to put someone behind bars, it saves money. With this program, the saved money would go straight to the counties and their probation departments. This program was implemented in 2009.

Here’s where the unintentional side-effect comes into play. Parole violators and minor offenders are now the responsibility of their respective counties. This is the major contributing factor to the fall in California state prison populations, but an overall rise in county jails. In tangible terms, this means that 9,500 felons that normally would have gone to state prison remained in county jail. Nearly 4,000 of these offenders come from Los Angeles County.

If you were recently arrested for a violation of your probation, how does this affect you? First of all, it is important to understand the different types of probation. There is formal probation and informal probation. Formal probation refers to an offender reporting directly to a probation officer for scheduled meetings while an informal probation refers that an offender simply meet certain requirements to complete their term. Your penalties will not only differ depending on your type of probation and how you allegedly violated it, but it will depend on which county you are located in.

After learning more about California’s community corrections performance grants, you may be under the impression that you will automatically remain in county jail. While this would seem to be the case, it is important to consult with an attorney about your case. Only your representative Los Angelescriminal defense lawyer will be able to advise you as to your charges and your future. To learn more or to secure legal representation for your probation violation, pleasecontact Martinian & Associates Inc. today!