Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims and Chief Probation Officer Linda Penner give update on meeting with California State officials regarding the realignment of prisoners to counties in the San Joaquin Valley
Sheriff Margaret Mims and Chief Probation Officer Linda Penner, representing several San Joaquin Valley counties, met late last week with Governor Brown's administration in Sacramento.
A discussion was held on the challenges in the distribution of offender populations, necessary resources to implement and maintain services aimed at improving offender reintegration, and future funding formulas. Since most valley counties are impacted with large offender populations and lack of jail bed space, it was an opportunity to input valley concerns for upcoming funding considerations. All valley counties recognize the unique challenges statewide in AB 109 administration, but also understand the disparity in the funding allocations in the Central Valley counties.
Sheriff Mims explained, "Though it's a frustrating situation from a policy standpoint, every day we are working diligently to ensure and maintain the safety of our communities; fighting for our share of funding, all the while staying in compliance with the federal and state laws that unfortunately dictate our policies. It is critical for us to have open dialogue with the Brown administration and make sure our Valley voices are heard in Sacramento."
Sheriff Margaret Mims and Chief Probation Officer Linda Penner were selected to meet with Diane Cummins, a Special Advisor to Governor Brown from the Department of Finance, to discuss future funding and realignment plans specific to the Central Valley. Chief Penner noted, "Central Valley counties are historically underserved, low income areas with high crime and poverty rates. Despite these factors, the valley counties continue to look for ways to meet the spirit of the legislation and improve offender outcomes and public safety. That is why meetings such as this have great importance to insure success for all counties." She added, "We will continue to provide a valley voice to planning discussions and provide leadership for the valley counties in funding decisions in conjunction with Governor Brown's administration."
Overall, Sheriff Mims and Chief Penner were encouraged by the meeting. "Our county jail is at full capacity, and Sacramento must realize the importance of adequate funding to offset the impact of realignment," Mims concluded.
For further information, please contact Sheriff Margaret Mims at 600-8800, or Chief Probation Officer Linda Penner at 600-1294.