A three-judge federal court panel has ordered to release about 10,000 inmates by the end of the year to reduce prison overcrowding in California.
The ruling was handed down last Thursday, and since then has received harsh criticism. Shasta County Sheriff Tom Bosenko said it will pose a threat for public safety.
“The California State Sheriff’s Association all believe this was an ill-conceived and ill-advised order for the state to release another 10,000 inmates into our communities,” said Sheriff Bosenko.
Sheriff Bosenko also said that prison release programs like AB 109 have not typically gone well for the community, and this new order would put a strain on law enforcement.
“We are already seeing an increase in violence and an increase in threats of other crimes,” said Sheriff Bosenko.
In addition, since a majority of the non-sexual, non-violent and non-serious criminals have already been released through AB 109, the state could potentially see dangerous offenders on the streets.
“It could increase the higher level of people being released as far as seriousness of crimes,” said Bosenko.
Right now it is too early to know how many inmates could be released in the Northstate. However, just the thought of inmates being out on the streets has some folks on edge.
“I definitely don’t like it, we already have a crime problem with repeat offenders that we can’t take care of,” said Shasta County resident Dennis Swafford.
Sheriff Bosenko wants to reassure the community that law enforcement is doing everything they can to protect their safety, but wants to remind people to be more aware of their surroundings. He says it is important for people to be diligent in locking their cars and homes and protecting their property so they do not become easy targets.
Governor Jerry Brown plans to appeal this decision all the way to the Supreme Court.