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Lawmakers' fix for catch-and-release parole violators: Prison

March 08, 2013|By Paige St. John
  • Parole violator Sidney DeAvila is charged in San Joaquin County for the rape and murder of his grandmother. Records show he had been jailed and released 10 times in the last nine months.
Parole violator Sidney DeAvila is charged in San Joaquin County for the… (Stockton Police Department )

A Stockton lawmaker troubled by recent violent crimes in her town committed by parole violators released early from county jail wants to let judges send those offenders back to prison.

The proposal would require a partial rollback of Gov. Jerry Brown's prison realignment plan, designed to lower state prison populations following federal court orders to ease overcrowding. The 2011 measure makes counties responsible for incarcerating low-level felons who once went to prison, and for supervising most state inmates when they are released from prison.

It also gave counties the responsibility for housing state parolees who violate the terms of their supervision, from addicts who use drugs to sex offenders who cut off GPS ankle monitors.

California corrections officials estimate the parole changes reduced the prison population an estimated 14,000 inmates.

Assembly members Susan Eggman (D-Stockton) and Ken Cooley (D-Rancho Cordova) argue that even with new state funding, counties with overcrowded jails can't hold those parole violators.

Eggman, a former Stockton City Council member, said that is especially true in San Joaquin County where parole violators are often released from the packed jail within 24 hours of arrest. One of those individuals recently was convicted of attempted manslaughter. Another is now charged with the rape and murder of his grandmother.

Eggman said "in theory" she supports Brown's realignment plan, which calls for increased local responsibility for criminals, "but as it was laid out, it was inflexible."

She and Cooley are sponsoring a bill, to be released Monday, that would give judges the added option of sentencing parole violators to prison instead of jail.

paige.stjohn@latimes.com

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