Los Angeles County Mayor Michael D. Antonovich has turned up the rhetoric in his criticism of Gov. Jerry Brown’s plan to shift state prison parolees to county supervision starting Saturday.
“With overcrowded (county) jails housing misdemeanants only serving 20 percent of their time now, many will now do the crime and serve no time after realignment is implemented,” Antonovich said in a statement Friday. “That means more criminals and more crime in our communities and neighborhoods.”
“In dumping these felons on local governments’ doorsteps, the governor is playing fast and loose with the facts,” Antonovich said. “Contrary to his comments that realignment is a ‘bold’ step, it is actually a reckless and pathetic shirking of the state’s responsibility to its citizens.”
Antonovich made the following points Friday about the governor’s plan:
“On the Governor’s proposal to use fire camps to house inmates, first, there aren’t enough fire camps to house the inmates and, second, not all inmates meet the physical and medical requirements to fight fires.”
“He is hijacking local jail funding from AB 900, which was to build new jails, not house new state felons.”
“His suggestion that the counties can contract back with the state for prison beds makes no sense when the state doesn’t have bed space.”
“He is prohibiting counties from contracting with private and other out-of-state facilities even though the state does it.”
“He is dumping 100 percent of the state’s responsibility and liability for state felons to counties without full reimbursement.”
Antonovich said the lack of funding for state prisoner supervision will erode the county’s ability to pay for public safety, health care and other services.
Last week, Sen. Sharon Runner, R-Lancaster, said Californians will need to protect themselves against all of the criminals who will hit the streets once the county jails are overburdened with state prisoners.
“Now is the time for Californians to get a dog, buy a gun and install an alarm system,” Runner said.