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Thursday, Jul 12 2012 11:04 PM

LA County inmates will bring their families, too

By The Bakersfield Californian

At least one California county seems to have made some significant strides in its effort to deal with post-realignment incarceration levels. Los Angeles County is moving ahead with plans to relocate thousands of its prisoners to Kern County -- where, wouldn't you know it, jail overcrowding also happens to be a big concern.

The population of the L.A. County jail system has jumped to about 18,600 inmates, the Los Angeles Times reports, thanks to the transfer of more than 5,000 inmates who, before realignment, would have been in state prison.

L.A. County officials' negotiations with community jail operators in Shafter, Delano and Taft are nearing completion and are expected to be completed this fall. They can all thank Kern County Sheriff Donny Youngblood for facilitating the introduction: He maintains that these jails are inadequate for Kern County prisoners. Yet they seems to be OK for L.A.'s.

Youngblood's veto will have consequences far beyond the budget. Consider all the people who will be coming to Kern to visit loved ones in these jails. Consider that some will be moving here if the jail term is sufficiently long. Many are fine people, no doubt, but perhaps some are not. Was that risk weighed, too?

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