KESQ — A move from the State to ease prison overcrowding is forcing local law enforcement to chase after the same criminals over and over again. Friday Coachella Valley Police Chiefs along with the Riverside County Sheriff voiced their support for changes to the state law known as AB 109.
"Folks know that they can commit a crime, they can violate and they can get a way with it," said Assemblyman Manuel Perez.
Lawmakers passed AB 109 in 2011 to help save the state money and ease crowding in prisons by letting lower-level offenders serve their sentences in county jails.
"In essence the state passed the buck onto local law enforcement and local county jail systems,"said Riverside County Sheriff Stanley Sniff.
However, many jails were already full. A federal court ordered more than half of the state's county jails, including Riverside, to reduce overcrowding.
"It's like the second floor collapsing on the first floor, it's damaged a lot of the county operations," said Sheriff Sniff.
That left the county no choice but to release some criminals early.
"We quite literally end up keeping the worst of the worst behind bars and we release the best of the worst and that is unfortunate right now that we've turned into a complete lack of a deterrent on low level offenses," said Sheriff Sniff.
"They commit a crime, we arrest them, take them to jail and then they are back out," said Palm Springs Police Chief Alberto Franz. continue reading...