Realignment has caused a significant increase in the number of inmates housed in San Diego County jails and has increased maximum-security housing needs, an advisory group reports.
“Compared to five years earlier, the adult inmate population at sheriffs’ detention facilities was at 113 percent capacity in 2012, up from 102 percent in 2011. These increases reflect the addition of the realigned offenders, which now make up about one-third of all inmates,” states the report.
The information was compiled by the Criminal Justice Research Division of SANDAG, a coalition of 18 cities and county governments.
“Prior to the implementation of AB 109, individuals could only be held in local detention facilities (or jails) pre-sentence…and post-sentence if convicted and sentenced for 12 months or less for misdemeanor or granted felony probation and ordered to serve up to 12 months of custody as a condition of that probation,” the report noted.
The Realignment legislation provided more than 500 felony offenses that may be served in local county jails. The longest full sentence being served at the time of the report was 16 years.
“As a result of Realignment, the number of total individuals in state institutional custody decreased 22 percent from 170,283 on Dec. 31, 2008, to 132,768 on Dec. 31, 2012,” stated the report.
Realignment did not result in any early release of prisoners, the report added.
There was a general decrease in adult bookings in county jails since 2008, and the number of inmates who need “protective custody increased dramatically over the past five years, from 108 in 2008 to 275 in 2012. In addition, those placed in administrative segregation increased from 428 to 727” in the same period, the report stated.
The majority of realigned offenders under supervision at the county level are mostly for property crimes at 40 percent and drug/alcohol offenses at 54 percent, the study states.
Inmates who are housed in San Diego County jails may have access to mental health services and reentry services that include substance abuse treatment, vocational training and education.
The annual fiscal year budget for detention services in San Diego is over $226 million, and the average cost for housing an inmate per day is $136.48, the report states.
San Diego is building a 1,216-bed facility slated for completion in 2016 that will house women, along with plans to take back control over a private vendor-run facility, which will add an additional 200 beds when the contract expires with the vendor in December 2015.