The Community Corrections Partnership has delayed a vote on whether to spend $2.9 million toward expanding the Richmond jail. Officials say the group was formed at the end of last year to help deal with the state’s prisoner realignment program. Under that shift, low level, non-serious and non-sexual offenders were transferred from state prisons to county facilities in order to serve out the remainder of their sentences. The panel is reportedly charged with creating an operations plan that covers multiple law enforcement agencies including the probation department, the district attorney’s office, the sheriff’s department and others.
Of greatest concern is whether the county should allocate funds toward expanding the current Richmond jail. Proponents point out that since the realignment was implemented, inmate overcrowding continues to be an issue. Others feel the money should instead be spent on rehabilitation programs in order to help reduce recidivism rates. The battle, said a county spokesperson, continues to be heated.
The Community Corrections Partnership have said they will need additional time to determine how state funds should be divvied up. Law enforcement officials have said the delay will simply allow more people to throw their hats into the ring, hoping to get budget dollars passed their way.
A final voting date has not yet been scheduled.