Butte County taking prisoners from state prisons but not spending the money to increase jail space – you know what that means

8 Aug

If you follow any of the “public safety” Facebook groups around town you see a lot of pictures of trash and needles and yeah, somebody posted an absolutely awesome pile of human shit on one site yesterday. But you don’t hear a lot of solutions, aside from give the cops more money, or vote for one or another council candidate.  And there’s very little, if any, discussion about how these people get here, where they came from, or who is getting the money for bringing them in. One local wag has told me I “assume too much,” so here’s a report that shows where I get all my assumptions.

Oh yeah, there’s money to be made off the transients, criminals, druggies, or whatever you want to call them. AB 109 – The Public Safety Realignment Act – includes funding for the transfer of inmates from one “over crowded” facility to another.  Here’s Butte County’s plan for housing inmates transferred to Butte County jail  from prisons and jails around the state, including the tally of how much money they get for doing it.

“Butte County Public Safety Realignment and Post release Community Supervision 2011 Implementation Plan”

“The Public Safety Realignment Act transfers responsibility to local counties for supervising specified offenders released from State prison who would have previously been placed on parole with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR). Additionally, AB109 specifies that certain offenders and parole violators can no longer be housed in State prison and will instead
be incarcerated in the local “County prison,” also known as the Butte County Jail (County Jail). The Act is effective on October 1, 2011, and Butte County will assume responsibility, at full implementation, for a daily average of approximately 449 offenders (268 inmates and 181 Post release Community Supervision (PCS) participants). This diverse population includes offenders whose most recent criminal conviction is deemed a non-violent, non-serious, non-sexual (non-nonnon) offense. No offender whose current or prior criminal history includes convictions deemed serious, violent, or are sex-related will be committed to the County prison.

The formula establishing statewide funding allotments for AB109 implementation in Fiscal Year 2011–2012 was developed by the State Department of Finance in consultation with California State Association of Counties (CSAC). The formula assumes $25,000 for each offender for up to six months of local incarceration. Each offender is also allotted $2,275 for rehabilitative services while Offenders on Post release Community Supervision are funded at $3,500 per person for community supervision and $2,275 for rehabilitative services (for a maximum of 18 months). The funding available through AB109 is based on a weighted formula containing three elements:

• 60% based on the estimated average daily population (ADP) of offenders meeting AB109
eligibility criteria;
• 30% based on U.S. Census Data pertaining to the total population of adults (18‐64) in the
County as a percentage of the statewide population; and
• 10% based on the California Community Corrections Performance Incentives Act of 2009
(SB678) distribution formula.

Based on this formula, Butte County is projected to receive $3,177,024 for nine months (October 1–June 30) for Fiscal Year 2011–2012 to develop an implementation plan and serve the approximately 256 offenders that will be released on PCS (Postrelease Community Supervision) and 160 sentenced felons who will serve their sentence in the County Jail during the fiscal year.

This funding includes:

FUNDING SOURCE                          AMOUNT
Public Safety Realignment funding $2,735,905
District Attorney/Public Defender Activities $98,069
AB109 Planning Grant (one-time funding) $150,000
AB109 Training and Implementation Activities (one-time funding) $193,050
TOTAL $3,177,024

Wow. 256 “offenders” released into Butte County, from all over the state, maybe beyond. How will we house these people? According to this plan, none of the $3,177,024 will go toward the expansion of the jail. The Grand Jury has repeatedly found that our jail is inadequate, why would we want to bring in more inmates. Especially with this news:

The development of the CCP implementation plan was constrained by the available funding. The allotted state funding is not sufficient to create a plan with the robustness that the CCP believes the public safety realignment deserves. However, the CCP developed a functional implementation plan that fits without the available funds.

State funding is not sufficient to house these transfers – you’ll see in a minute where they end up. Here they explain that all the money will end up:

“Based on the CCP implementation plan, departments developed budgets for the resources needed to carry out the plan. Because the new inmate and PCS populations are on a prospective basis, not all resources are needed on October 1, 2011. The first year of the implementation plan phases in the resources to match the increasing caseload and workload. Additionally, the first year of the implementation plan includes a substantial investment in one-time start-up costs, including equipment purchases, specialized training, and facility remodeling. Staff projected all costs into Year Two of the plan to ensure that the plan is sustainable with the anticipated funding when all costs are fully realized and annualized. The budget represents a sustainable implementation plan and is summarized below. A detailed budget is provided as Attachment A.

They include “facility remodeling,” but if you read on, you’ll see how much priority they put on that – most of the money goes to salaries and benefits:

Sheriff
8 Correctional Officers 304,601
4 Correctional Technicians 165,810
3 Sheriff’s Clerks 81,455
Ongoing Programmatic Costs 644,685
One-Time Costs 625,061
Sub-Total Sheriff 1,821,612

Probation
5 Probation Officers 277,988
1 Supervising Probation Officer 82,728
1 Probation Tech 48,753
1 Administrative Assistant, Sr. 44,664
Ongoing Programmatic Costs 32,733
One-Time Costs 141,362
Sub-Total Probation 628,228

DESS
1 Eligibility and Employment Specialist 40,505
1 Employment Case Manager 42,698
Sub-Total DESS 83,203

Behavioral Health
4 Behavioral Health Counselors 153,568

1 Mental Health Clinician 49,969
1 Supervisor Behavioral Health Counselor 46,419
1 Administrative Analyst 54,435
1 Medical Records Tech 28,593
Extra Help Nurse 9,010
Ongoing Programmatic Costs 100,658
One-Time Costs 65,138
Sub-Total Behavioral Health 507,790

 Total Positions 1,376,761
Total Ongoing Programmatic Costs 930,580
Total One-Time Costs 838,061
Grand Total 3,145,402

So, there it is – out of $3,145,402 in “realignment funding” only $838,061 goes to “one time costs,” and that includes “facilities remodeling”. So the sheriff complains the jail is too small, but keeps taking transfers? AB 109 says he can’t house more than he can accommodate, so he’s had to release them just about as fast as he’s  been taking them in. 

Here’s some gas for that fire – the state just announced they will increase releases by 70%.

https://www.latimes.com/world-nation/story/2020-08-06/california-ups-early-inmate-release-estimate-amid-objections

I’m not sure whether these people will be transferred to jails or shelters, but you can just bet some of them will land in Butte County. Here’s a pre-COVID plan for doling out money to local shelters to take in the overflow.  From the Butte County Supervisors agenda dated May 20, 2014 – Contract Approval-Sober Living Environment for Alternative Custody Inmates

“The Sheriff’s Office released a Request for Proposal (RFP) for the services of a sober living environment for Alternative Custody Supervision (ACS) inmates and received 7 responses. Of the 7 responses, 3 were selected to provide services based on their facility, the services provided at the facility and the cost. The Sheriff’s Office has discovered that an obstacle to recovery for some ACS inmates is the lack of a stable housing environment free of drugs and alcohol. By offering select ACS inmates a sober living environment to enhance their recovery furthers the Sheriff’s mission of reducing recidivism. The following three providers, all located in the City of Oroville, were selected:

1) Life Recover Ministries: up to 10 beds at $550 per month per placement, maximum $198,000 for the three-year contract
term.

2) Northern California Treatment Center: Up to 10 beds at $550 per month per placement, maximum $198,000 for the three
year contract term.

3) Oroville Rescue Mission: Up to 7 beds at $525 per month per placement, maximum $132,300 for the three year term.
All three contracts are for a term of May 20, 2014 through May 19, 2017. State AB109 funding is utilized to provide this
service.

Use of AB 109 funds, up to an annual maximum of $176,100, funds already in Sheriff’s budget. Community Corrections Partnership (CCP) committee has approved use of AB109 funds for this purpose.

Yes, that is a 6 year old report. Why don’t you contact your supervisor and ask them for the most recent report? I don’t know if you need to do that – just drive around Chico, and take a look for yourself. 

Dear Local Wag, I got your note, and I’ll say, I’m disappointed but not surprised that you had nothing to say about the subject at hand. In future any comments you make will be posted on the blog, so you might want to proofread your rants before you send them to me. 

2 Responses to “Butte County taking prisoners from state prisons but not spending the money to increase jail space – you know what that means”

  1. Scott Rushing August 9, 2020 at 9:44 pm #

    Once again Juanita, you have revealed that the law enforcement professionals in your city and county are more concerned about their pay and benefits than doing the right thing for those they supposed to “protect and serve.”

    On Sat, Aug 8, 2020 at 6:51 AM Chico Taxpayers Association wrote:

    > Juanita Sumner posted: “If you follow any of the “public safety” Facebook > groups around town you see a lot of pictures of trash and needles and yeah, > somebody posted an absolutely awesome pile of human shit on one site > yesterday. But you don’t hear a lot of solutions, aside from” >

    • Juanita Sumner August 10, 2020 at 5:23 am #

      Thanks Scott, that’s the conclusion I was getting to.

      I’ll say, I’m not a cop-hater, and I know you’re not a cop-hater. In fact, the work load resulting from these transfers puts cops’ lives and mental well-being at risk. I want cops to be as safe as possible in their jobs, and I want a community where we can respect each other.

      I can dream.

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