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Early Release of Inmates in Sac County Sparks Union Lawsuit



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(Sacramento, CA)
Monday, February 8, 2010
This is a clear example of state budget cuts hitting home locally. Last year’s state budget deal included a provision that requires low-level offenders who have earned enough good behavior credits to be released sooner than before. Sacramento County Sheriff John McGinness says that gave him no choice but to start releasing inmates from county jails last week.
 
McGinness: “I knew going into this that I absolutely would not like the outcome, the final product. But I also understand the fundamental reality that this state and most of the counties therein can no longer, based upon the resource drain, use incarceration to the extent we had to deal with misbehavior.” (0:17)
 
McGinness says just under 200 county inmates have gotten an early release. One of them was arrested the very next day on attempted rape. And the union that represents the county’s sheriff’s deputies is suing to keep as many of those inmates in jail as possible. The union’s president says he’s worried about both public safety – and an already-decimated sheriff’s department losing more jobs.
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