Calif. Officers Call New Law a 'Disaster'

Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill that removes up to 30,000 inmates from state prisons and possibly send them to local jails, but local officials say this bill will only make things worse for the community and for the jails.


DELANO, Calif. --

AB109 was signed into law Monday. The law releases thousands of prisoners to jails, leaving local law enforcement responsible for low-level offenders convicted of nonserious, nonviolent and nonsexual offenses.

Sheriff Donny Youngblood said the law is a disaster waiting to happen.

"We feel somewhat betrayed by our governor, and I think the people of Kern County should feel somewhat betrayed because we are going to have more felons on the street," said Sheriff Donny Youngblood.

Some law enforcement organizations called on Gov. Jerry Brown to delay signing the bill until the money is in place to pay for more jails, rehabilitation programs and alternative sentencing, like house arrest.

Law enforcement organizations want a guarantee built into the state Constitution to make sure they still get the funds once the governor leaves office.

"We may not have the structuring, the buildings to house these people let alone pay for it. The scary thing is that the state is going to dump all the problems they should be handling to the counties and cities, and they may not give us the ability to pay for it," said Kern County Assistant District Attorney Scott Spielman.

The law affects only offenders convicted after July 1, with current inmates remaining under the state's supervision.

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