0 Flares Twitter 0 Facebook 0 Google+ 0 Buffer 0 0 Flares ×

A spokesperson for the San Joaquin County Jail said it's Sacramento's fault that dozens of parole violators continue to be released from custody.  Traditionally, these men and woman would need to accept punishment for their crimes.

Now, they are receiving an essential slap on the wrist as they walk back out the door.

State officials say this is not their problem, but blames the county for now allowing parole agents enough time to sort through their paperwork.

Prior to the 2011 prisoner realignment, which shifted the responsibility of non-serious, non-violent, non-sexual offenders from state prisons to county jails, the state parole board was charged with the process of revoking a person's parole.

Now, this has fallen to the hands of local law enforcement agencies, who continue to be overwhelmed with the mass influx of detainees.  Many have said there simply aren't enough local employees to handle the new volume.

As it stands, parolees are taken to court within two business days to have the violation decided by a judge.  As of early summer, these hearings have become the responsibility of local trial courts.   Prior to July 1, these matters were decided by the CA parole board.

San Joaquin County Jail officials have said that 48 hours is simply not enough time for law enforcement officials to file the proper petitions with the court.  When this doesn't happen, they say, the judges are left with no other option than to release them back to the streets.

A spokesperson for the California Department of Corrections has said that in most cases, their department isn't aware a parolee has violated the conditions of their release until the day they go to court.  They've said that at least five days are needed in order to get the proper paperwork in order.

They said that other counties in the state are working within the appropriate time frames.  It's not clear why San Joaquin is operating on a 48-hour schedule.

Local courts say this is out of their hands because a decision needs to be made at the time the parolee stands before the judge.  If the revocation paperwork isn't in order, it essentially means there is no case to be filed.

Some say it's not so much the fault of the county, but have instead turned the blame to San Joaquin County Jail overcrowding.   The facility is reportedly under court order to cap the inmate population at a certain level, and inmate releases have since been prioritized in order to comply.

In years past, parole violators would have gone to state prisons.  But now, under the realignment, that no longer happens.

Recent statistics snow that more than 2,800 parole violators were booked into the county jail last year.  These detainees have spent an average of three dozen days behind bars, and have increased the jail population by more than 250 inmates.

The sheriff's department has said that this year's number of violators have declined from 2012, and that these offenders are spending fewer days behind bars.  In most cases they are only in custody for a couple of days.

A spokesperson for the District Attorney's office said they are closely monitoring the situation and are trying to best determine how to use available jail beds.  Those who are not charged with committing another crime, but have been detained for drug possession or taking off GPS bracelets, are being least punished.

They said the biggest focus is on preserving pubic safety, and the San Joaquin County Jail needs to be utilized accordingly.