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Criminal justice leaders disperse AB 109 funds

Dan McDonald
Managing Editor
9/1/2014

Moments after dividing $693,439 in state money among their departments, local criminal justice leaders emphasized they still need the county’s financial help.

“Unless we really have some good assistance from our Board of Supervisors, we have some very positive programs that are on very tenuous footing,” District Attorney David Hollister said.

His department’s Assembly Bill 109 share totaled $130,000, which he said is $90,000 short of what it costs to run the Alternative Sentencing Program.

The sheriff and probation departments were allotted $361,594 and $201,845, respectively.

The fund distribution was recommended by the Community Corrections Partnership’s budget subcommittee during the executive committee’s Aug. 20 meeting in Quincy.

The CCP board, comprised of local criminal justice leaders, approved sending the AB 109 disbursements to the Board of Supervisors for final approval.

The AB 109 money is meant to help offset the county’s cost of managing the state’s inmate realignment. That’s the program under which offenders who were traditionally sent to state prisons are now the county’s responsibility.

The inmate shift has strained the resources of counties statewide. That’s because there are many more offenders serving sentences in county jails and on post-release supervision.

Sheriff Greg Hagwood and Probation Chief Dan Prince echoed the district attorney’s sentiments. They said they want to make sure the supervisors understand that AB 109 money is designed to help offset realignment costs. They said it should not impact the county’s general fund contribution.

“One of the core tenants of AB 109, philosophically, is that this is money to offset expenses involved in the additional caseload,” Prince said. “Plus the post-release community supervision defendants that are coming out of state prison who otherwise would be remaining there. We are now obligated to supervise a high-risk group as well.”

Hollister said Plumas County is making great strides with its Alternative Sentencing Program. He said the effort and results are being noticed at the state level.

“We have some folks coming to this (Day Reporting Center) open house (Thursday) who want to see specifically what we are doing because we are doing things a little bit differently,” Hollister said. “And it’s an approach that I think is going to be favorably viewed by Sacramento.”


Open house

The public is invited to attend the grand opening of the Day Reporting Center on Thursday, Aug. 28.

Alternative Sentencing Coordinator Stephanie Tanaka said the new center, at 56 Harbison St. in Quincy, will be open for tours and information from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Refreshments will also be provided.

The public can also attend a 4:30 p.m. reception, immediately following a 3 p.m. ceremony for the first group of Prop. 36 Drug Court graduates.

Tanaka said, “People can show up anytime, for as long as they want.”


Committee member change

Mental Health Director Peter Livingston submitted his resignation to the CCP board in hope that Alcohol and Other Drug Director Louise Steenkamp would take his seat.

According to the CCP bylaws, the AOD director is supposed to hold that seat. However, the county didn’t have an AOD director when the Community Corrections Partnership executive committee was formed.

The CCP committee members unanimously voted to add Steenkamp to the committee, pending approval by the Board of Supervisors.

Prince commended Livingston for his service. Livingston accepted the added duties just days after being named mental health director.


New probation supervisor

Clint Armitage began working as the county’s new supervising probation officer Aug. 11.

Armitage worked as both an adult and juvenile probation officer for 20 years in San Diego County before accepting the Plumas County job.


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