STOCKTON (AP) — A squabble over paperwork deadlines between San Joaquin County officials and state prison authorities is leading to the early release of parole violators.
San Joaquin County judges are releasing suspected parole violators from jail if California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation officials fail to provide the necessary records within 48 hours of an arrest.
CDCR spokesman Bill Sessa said that in most cases the department can't meet such a strict deadline. Sessa said other California counties adhere to a five-day deadline when processing those accused of violating terms of parole instead of treating those suspects as charged with a new crime. Courts have 48 hours to process a suspect accused of committing a new crime.
"Parole violations are not the same as new crimes," Sessa said.
Stephanie Bohrer, a San Joaquin County court spokeswoman, didn't return a phone call Monday.
The Stockton Record quoted San Joaquin County Superior Court Presiding Judge Dave Warner as saying that a "large percentage of jail space is going to folks on parole" instead of those charged with new crimes.
"We simply don't have enough room at the jail to hold them while (state parole) gets things figured out," Warner told the paper.
He also disagreed with the corrections department's assertion that San Joaquin is the only county struggling with processing parole violations.
The paper didn't say how many parole violation suspects were released early. It cited a study prepared for the San Joaquin Sheriff's Department that showed 2,829 parole violation cases in 2012, which increased the jail's population by about 280 inmates. The parolees spent an average of 36 days in custody.
Parole violations recently moved from state oversight to local courts as a result of California's so-called jail realignment plan.
The realignment program has shifted some felons from prisons to county jails after a court ordered the state to alleviate prison crowding.