prison.jpg7/22 12:48 PM: Officials from several San Francisco city departments gathered Thursday at a Board of Supervisors committee hearing to discuss the impact of recent California legislation that will soon put hundreds of additional offenders under local rather than state supervision.

A proposal by Gov. Jerry Brown to address overcrowding in state prisons and California’s large budget deficit, AB 109, was signed into law on April 4 and is scheduled to go into effect on Oct. 1.

Under the new legislation, people convicted of nonviolent, non-serious offenses, as well as adult parolees and juvenile offenders, would fall under local jurisdiction rather than that of the state.

California’s Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation estimates that the realignment will add about 700 offenders to the total handled by San Francisco officials, an increase of roughly 40 percent.

The move will save the state an estimated $1.4 billion in the coming years but will bring added stress to the city’s budget and services, the topic of Thursday’s meeting of the Board of Supervisors’ public safety committee at City Hall.

Wendy Still, chief of the city’s Adult Probation Department, said the $5.9 million the state is providing San Francisco is simply not enough to cover the cost of the population shift, which she estimated to be roughly $15 million.

“If the budget was doubled, it might be close,” Still said.

The city set aside an additional $4.8 million for the realignment in the new fiscal year’s budget that passed earlier this week by the board, but Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi said the remaining $5 million or so in funding for the program remains absent.

“There’s a long way to go,” Mirkarimi said, adding that the city will push for more money from the state as well as embark on “a significant hunt for grant funding.”

Some city officials said they are trying different approaches to handle the expected increase in offenders.

Lenore Anderson, chief of the collaborative courts division of the district attorney’s office, said offering alternative sentences through community courts can take away some of the stress on the city’s legal system.

The city also plans to offer home detention or an electronic monitoring program to inmates in lieu of bail.

Undersheriff Jan Dempsey said the sheriff’s department will be reopening a county jail in San Bruno to take on some of the additional inmates, but other city officials said their facilities are already at capacity.

“We’re bursting at the seams,” said Jo Robinson from the city’s Department of Public Health.

Robinson said there is already up to a four-month wait for current county jail inmates trying to get into a residential treatment facility and that the realignment will add to the wait times.

Mirkarimi, the chair of the board’s public safety committee, said he plans to hold another hearing after Labor Day to check on the status of the realignment plans before the law takes effect in October.

7/21 7:01 PM: Officials from several San Francisco city departments gathered today at a Board of Supervisors committee hearing to discuss the impact of recent California legislation that will soon bring hundreds of inmates back from state prison to the local jail and probation programs.

A proposal by Gov. Jerry Brown to address overcrowding in state prisons and California’s large budget deficit, AB 109, was signed into law on April 4 and is scheduled to go into effect on Oct. 1.

Under the new legislation, people convicted of nonviolent, non-serious offenses, as well as adult parolees and juvenile offenders, would fall under local jurisdiction rather than that of the state.

California’s Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation estimates that the realignment will bring about 700 offenders back to San Francisco, roughly 40 percent of the city’s inmates that were sent to state prison.

The move will save the state an estimated $1.4 billion in the coming years but will bring added stress to the city’s budget and services, the topic of today’s meeting of the Board of Supervisors’ public safety committee at City Hall.

Wendy Still, chief of the city’s Adult Probation Department, said the $5.9 million the state is providing San Francisco is simply not enough to cover the cost of the population shift, which she estimated to be roughly $15 million.

“If the budget was doubled, it might be close,” Still said.

The city set aside an additional $4.8 million for the realignment in the new fiscal year’s budget that passed earlier this week by the board, but Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi said the remaining $5 million or so in funding for the program remains absent.

“There’s a long way to go,” Mirkarimi said, adding that the city will push for more money from the state as well as embark on “a significant hunt for grant funding.”

Some city officials said they are trying different approaches to handle the expected increase in offenders.

Lenore Anderson, chief of the collaborative courts division of the district attorney’s office, said offering alternative sentences through community courts can take away some of the stress on the city’s legal system.

The city also plans to offer home detention or an electronic monitoring program to inmates in lieu of bail.

Undersheriff Jan Dempsey said the sheriff’s department will be reopening a county jail in San Bruno to take on some of the additional inmates, but other city officials said their facilities are already at capacity.

“We’re bursting at the seams,” said Jo Robinson from the city’s Department of Public Health.

Robinson said there is already up to a four-month wait for current county jail inmates trying to get into a residential treatment facility and that the realignment will add to the wait times.

Mirkarimi, the chair of the board’s public safety committee, said he plans to hold another hearing after Labor Day to check on the status of the realignment plans before the law takes effect in October.

Dan McMenamin, Bay City News

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  • DT

    How many of the felons are actually from SF?

    There can’t be that many as I was never called to Jury Duty the entire time Kamala Harris was DA.

  • DT

    How many of the felons are actually from SF?

    There can’t be that many as I was never called to Jury Duty the entire time Kamala Harris was DA.