• BREAKING NEWS ABC shows live and on-demand -- Download the WATCH ABC app!

LA County Board of Supervisors wants realignment figures from sheriff's department

September 3, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
Questions are raised over the early release of inmates in L.A. County jails. The County Board of Supervisors is going to take a close look at that plan.

The Los Angeles County Jail is dealing with overcrowding and budget issues. Some prisoners are being released after serving only part of their sentences.

"I think we're releasing too many of them much too early. And I think we need to manage it more effectively," said L.A. County Supervisor Gloria Molina.

Molina says the issue of management lies with the sheriff's department.

"The public needs to know that these felons that are being convicted and are serving anywhere from three to five years, that they are serving period of time, instead of only 10 percent or 40 percent," said Molina.

"The misdemeanors -- tagging, petty theft things, like that -- they do get released early to make beds available for serious criminals," said L.A. County Sheriff's Spokesman Steve Whitmore.

Whitmore stresses that violent criminals and those sent by the state through the realignment program are not released early.

"They come to us with their sentence already reduced by the state, and so what we do, under the sheriff's direction, is they do their full time in county jail," said Whitmore.

Whitmore says Sheriff Lee Baca believes using drug treatment centers instead of jails would also make room for more serious offenders.

"[Being in jail], it made me worse. Because I was an individual that used to do lines or do whatever type of drug I was addicted to at that time, I used to do that in the holding tank," said Roseanne Hanamiakai.

She believes inmates on drug charges shouldn't spend time in jail. They should be released to treatment centers instead. She claims it helped her.

"Instead of using the taxpayers' money, instead of being housed in jails and prisons around this world, I think they should be posted up in a men's home," said Hanamiakai.

Supervisor Molina wants to get a report on the exact number of releases from the sheriff's department. There is a hearing scheduled with the Board of Supervisors in two weeks.


Load Comments