It’s no great secret that the Richmond Jail is close to bursting at the seams. At the same time, the county is dealing with controversy regarding how they are utilizing state-given dollars to handle the influx of new prisoners.
The story starts back in Oct. 2011 when the state was ordered to reduce it’s prisoner population. Legislators quickly took action, and told the Richmond Jail to be prepared to start housing more bodies. Low level, non-sexual and non-serious offenders were going to be transferred from state prisons to county facilities to serve out the remainder of their time, they said. They also said they’d allocate additional dollars to their budgets in order to help offset the cost housing the added inmates.
According to a recent report by the Mercury News, not everyone is thrilled about the way that money is being spent. Some believe that the Richmond Jail should use the funds to add bed space. Others say bail reform is needed, because most of the inmates in custody have not yet been sentenced for a crime. Others still feel the money should be spent on electronic GPS monitoring bracelets and GPS tracking devices for the lowest-level offenders, allowing them to serve out the remainder of their sentences on house arrest.
For now, though, the debate is ongoing. A final determination as to how the money will be spent has not yet been made.