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Downum Reacts To Policy Change Regarding Deported Criminals

Sacramento, CA — The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation has implemented a new policy stating that once a criminal alien is deported out of California, he or she will no longer be listed in the state’s parole system.

Officials say California’s previous policy of reincarcerating deported criminals in state prison for brief stints on a parole violation has contributed to a revolving door effect that has increased overcrowding and costs to state taxpayers.

“I think what the state is doing, even though it makes everybody nervous, is to hopefully force the federal government to do their job,” says Calaveras County Sheriff Dennis Downum. “The federal government needs to charge them with a felony and keep them out of our system.”

Federal law provides penalties up to 10 years in prison for these offenders, but many have been dealt with on the state level.

In 2007 the California Department of Corrections turned over approximately 12,000 paroled criminals to the federal government for deportation upon completion of their prison sentence. Nearly 1,600 illegally returned to California and were caught. The state would then issue a parole violation, and lock up the violators for around four-to-eight months.

The new policy is expected to save the state an estimated $10 million each year.

Written by bjhansen@mlode.com