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Local Sheriffs Speak In Sacramento About Need For Jail Funding

Sacramento, Ca — County Sheriffs from Calaveras, Tuolumne and Amador Counties spent Wednesday afternoon speaking before the state Corrections Standard Authority in Sacramento about the need for new jails in each of their individual communities.

A jail construction executive steering committee has recommended that the majority of the state funding available be allocated to counties with the largest population, which would limit the amount of money available to communities in the Mother Lode.

The steering committee plan would allocate $600 million of the total state funds available to counties with populations of 700,000 plus. Only $50 million would be set aside for the 31 California counties with fewer than 200,000 residents.

After attending today´s meeting, Calaveras County Sheriff Dennis Downum says he believes that the CSA will rethink its position, and make significant changes that would benefit the smaller communities. Calaveras County alone is hoping to receive $31 million.

“Large counties frequently kind of steam roll small counties,” says Downum. “It´s pretty clear that L.A., Riverside and some of those large counties could probably use every dime of the state funding that is available, but quite frankly it wouldn´t fix there problem. For a fairly small amount of that funding, it would fix the problem in Calaveras, Tuolumne and Amador counties.”

The CSA is expected to put out another draft of its proposal in early December. At that juncture, there will again be time to comment. A final document will be published in mid-December.

Written by BJ Hansen