Friday, August 22, 2014
(Riverside County) Indio approves AB 109 grand jury report response
August 20, 2014
The Desert Sun
By Tatiana Sanchez
The Indio City Council on Wednesday reviewed the city's response to a Riverside County grand jury report detailing the regional effects of AB 109, 2011 legislation that realigned the state's correctional system to ease overcrowding in state prisons.
The 12-page letter, approved with a 5-0 vote and with no discussion, provides the city's required response to the June 17 grand jury report.
Mayor Michael Wilson attended the meeting via teleconference from Maui, Hawaii.
The civil grand jury cited good and bad results since implementation of the realignment program in October 2011.
The city's letter acknowledges that as with many law enforcement agencies, AB 109 strained resources within the Indio Police Department and throughout the county.
"While the intent of realignment was to relieve overcrowding within the state prisons, the immediate impact at the county level was overwhelming," the city's response letter stated. "As of the date of this response, the city has received $0 to provide services for the rehabilitation of inmates and probationers sent from State custody."
The city, however, can submit invoices to the Beaumont Police Department for up to $200,000, to recover costs for a detective with the East Post-Release Accountability and Compliance Team.
PACT works with probation to focus on at-risk and at-large offenders.
The city's letter responds to five of the findings within the grand jury report and only "partially agreed" with each of the findings. According to the report, one of the most significant shortcomings since AB 109 took effect has been a lack of communication between law enforcement agencies.
The grand jury report found that the Riverside County sheriff's and probation departments lacked consistency in informing municipal police agencies of the upcoming release of a convict.
Indio, however, disagreed with this finding.
"The Indio Police Department receives at least weekly Post-Release Community Supervision Information Reports from Probation," the city's letter stated, adding that the sheriff's and probation departments also provide quarterly updates at Coachella Valley Association of Governments meetings, which are attended by elected and public safety officials from Indio.
As a result of overcrowding, between Jan. 1, 2012, and June 12, 2014, 21,800 inmates have been released from the county's jails before completing their sentences or having their cases adjudicated, according to sheriff's department figures. The early releases are known as "fed kicks" because of a 1993 federal court decision mandating that each county inmate have a bed, or else the sheriff is required to free some inmates in order to make room for incoming ones.