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Prison realignment costs LA County millions, manpower

Inmates are seen in this undated file photo.
August 20, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
The release of inmates from California prisons is costing the Los Angeles Police Department millions of dollars and forcing some officers to be reassigned to deal with the felons, according to a new report presented to the Police Commission.

Thousands of felons are released every year from state prison. The LAPD says more than half are sent back to prison.

"What we found many times in those compliance searches is that person was getting the necessary services, he or she was getting the necessary support. But other times we found that the person under the influence of narcotics, the person was in possession of stolen property, the person was committing new crimes," said LAPD Assistant Chief Michel Moore.

Under the prison realignment plan known as AB 109, so-called non-violent offenders are released and sent to the counties to be supervised.

As of August 2, the state had shifted almost 17,000 felons to Los Angeles County. About a third, 5,000 ended up in the city of Los Angeles. The LAPD assigned about 170 full-time officers to track them.

"We are simply realigning and refocusing a portion of our officers that are otherwise doing other investigative efforts," said Moore. "Some of them would have been chasing these very same individuals."

It's all part of the LAPD's budget, but officials say if you break it out it costs about $18 million to track these offenders.

The LAPD is hoping to get money from the county or the state. Officials say the cost of not keeping tabs on these felons would be much higher.


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