Legislation for longer parole sentences to help jail overcrowding

TEHAMA COUNTY, Calif. - Longer parole sentences could be coming to county jail inmates. Assembly Bill 884, sponsored by the California State Sheriff's Association, allows county parole boards to give inmates a three-year parole sentence instead of the current two-year term.

State sheriff's offices argue that the longer term gives counties added flexibility when managing the inmate population.

It is an issue coming to light with California's 2011 plan to divert lower-level offenders from state prisons to county jails.

In the Northstate, Tehama County is already familiar with this practice of longer parole terms. Jail officials said it can be an incredible tool to reduce overcrowding.

"For a county that didn't already use ‘split sentencing' or ‘alternative sentencing' from the courts, then this could mean a lot to them," said Tehama County Jail Captain Danny Rabalais. "It's a good possibility of getting someone out of the county jail three-years earlier and into rehabilitation."

‘Alternative sentencing' splits a conviction between both jail time and supervised probation, helping to alleviate pressure on the county facilities.

A.B. 884 has already passed the State Assembly and it is currently up for a reading in the State Senate.

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