Oct 012018

Stan Sniff did not plan to fail, he failed to plan. His own words in an August 10, 2008 editorial in the Riverside Press Enterprise damn him: (Note, I had to get an archived copy as it appears to no longer be easily accessible on their website)

The Riverside County jail system – so absolutely critical and so central to our local criminal justice system – is in crisis. Today, much of the deterrent effect of serving time is lost. The system fails to deal adequately with recidivism or repeat offenders, it fails to meet the needs of our courts – already choked with cases and inadequately staffed with judges – and it fails to meet the needs of local law enforcement agencies that embrace the tenets of community-oriented policing. Like many other aspects of our county infrastructure that have lagged as a direct byproduct of our meteoric growth, our current jails have not kept pace in their capacity to handle the work flow.
The brutal reality is that Riverside County has added only 1300 beds in 10 years AND Stan Sniff is attempting to hold the staffing of the new jail hostage in order to gain leverage in budget arguments with the board of supervisors.
Our preliminary estimates are that a decade from now Riverside County jails will need close to 10,000 beds to meet the needs of our criminal justice system. Part of that estimate is driven by our need to fully restore our county jail system by designing it to meet one critical component – rehabilitation
Now you are getting the picture. Sniff wrote his own political epitaph in 2008.
In 2007, our jails were forced to release more than 6,000 inmates because of overcrowding. This practice started several years ago due to the increasing workload on our criminal justice system, with some inmates serving only days of a one-year sentence. In some cases, inmates released early preyed on Inland Empire communities. Legal bed capacity and other formal requirements of our jails are established by the state of California and are not left to local discretion.
Ouch. We’ve been piecing together the early releases under Sniff’s watch. The 6,000 number from 2007 has been eclipsed at least three times I can prove in the last ten years. It is also interesting that the Sheriff is complaining about State Law while endorsing soft on crime liberals and siding with the ACLU on many key issues.
Thus far, we’ve been able to prove about 35,000 early releases, knowing full well the number is much larger. The early release number is a key issue that is devastating to the Sheriff and also is a hallmark of the failure of his leadership.
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