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- County of Alameda
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- County of Fresno
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County of Alameda
March 1, 2021
Elaine M. Howle, California State Auditor
621 Capitol Mall, Suite 1200
Sacramento, CA 95814
Subject: State Audit Report 2020-102: Public Safety Realignment
Dear Ms. Howle:
The County of Alameda appreciates the opportunity to provide responses to the formal recommendations included in the California State Auditor’s Report 2020-102 regarding Public Safety Realignment.
The following restates the formal recommendations in each chapter of your audit report applicable to the County of Alameda (County) and provides responses that incorporate input from affected County officials.
Recommendation 1: To ensure that county jails identify inmates with mental illnesses and provide them with adequate mental health care, Alameda should immediately begin conducting mental health screening of all inmates upon admission to the county jail.
Recommendation 2: To ensure that county jails have sufficient information to determine appropriate housing and supervision of inmates with mental illnesses, by June 2021 [Alameda] should develop a process requiring [its] mental health providers to share with jails the mental health status of all inmates, such as whether they have a mild, moderate or serious mental illness.
Recommendation 3: To ensure that it appropriately follows up on inmate deaths and works to prevent similar deaths from occurring in the future, Alameda should implement its new inmate death follow-up process by June 2021.
County of Alameda Response to Recommendations 1, 2 and 3: As noted in the report, Alameda County is engaged in class action litigation focused upon mental health outcomes and mental health care of the inmates in its jail. Alameda County embraced the goal of improving mental health outcomes and quality of care from the outset of the litigation by identifying opportunities for improvement and developing implementation plans to achieve the goals. A cadre of retained experts have provided guidance on topics such as: the delivery of mental health services in a jail setting; inmate classification systems; conditions of confinement and access to care at the jail; and access to services for prisoners with non-mobility disabilities (serious mental illness, developmental disabilities and learning disabilities).
The work to implement improvements is ongoing. Both the Sheriff’s team and the Behavioral Health Services team are working diligently to complete their redesigned programs, hire the necessary additional staffing, and implement the necessary training, to achieve both increased collaboration across custodial and mental health care staff and desired outcomes. In the interim, real-time service delivery improvements are happening. Mental health assessments at intake are an example. And hiring drives are active and ongoing. Once the staffing necessary to accomplish the goals is in place, Alameda County expects to achieve the type of improvements recommended, as guided by the experts and permitted by law.
Recommendation 1: Unless the Legislature clarifies its intent otherwise, to ensure that [Alameda] prudently and appropriately spends realignment funds, the Partnership Committee at [Alameda] should, starting with [its] next annual budget, review and make budget recommendations to [its] board of supervisors for all realignment accounts, including the accounts that fund non-law enforcement departments and community-based organizations. Further, [Alameda] should ensure that [it] budgets all realignment funds to eliminate current surpluses in realignment accounts and prevent future surpluses.
County of Alameda Response to Recommendation 1: Alameda County respectfully disagrees with the assertion that, “Alameda’s Partnership Committee’s interpretation of the scope of public safety realignment is overly narrow…” Absent Legislative clarification, the County does not believe the Partnership Committee is required to review and make recommendations for all realignment accounts including those that fund non-law enforcement departments such as child welfare and behavioral health care services.
Recommendation 2: To ensure that the programs and services funded by public safety realignment funds are effective, beginning immediately, [Alameda] should conduct evaluations of the effectiveness of its programs and services at least every three years.
County of Alameda Response to Recommendation 2: Alameda County’s mission is to enrich the lives of Alameda County residents through visionary policies and accessible, responsive, and effective services. This is achieved by continuously evaluating the effectiveness of our programs. Alameda County has incorporated performance measures and benchmarks into its programs and contracts to ensure that program effectiveness is appropriately measured. A recent example is the Pew-MacArthur Results First Initiative, a partnership between the California State Association of Counties and the Pew-MacArthur Foundation, to assist California counties in understanding evidence-based practices to reduce recidivism and achieve more positive outcomes in the criminal justice system. Alameda County began participating in this process in the fall of 2018. This in-depth study, conducted across all public safety partner agencies of all programs serving the justice-involved, included a cost-benefit model that relied on high quality research studies and meta-analysis to estimate the level of effectiveness and return on investment of the inventory of programs aimed at impacting recidivism and other costs. Alameda County completed the analysis recently and is preparing recommendations for the Board of Supervisors at this time for next steps.
Specific to the AB 109-funded programs, Alameda County contracted with Resource Development Associates (RDA) in 2016 to provide evaluations of all realignment services. This contract entailed a process and outcome evaluation that included a comprehensive review of the County's Public Safety Realignment Plans and existing County systems that support realigned clients, creation of realignment service delivery and supervision system logic models, and a written Evaluation Plan for addressing the effectiveness of programs and services funded by the Community Corrections Partnership Executive Committee (CCP-EC). RDA’s evaluation plan included a comparison of activities implemented versus planned; the volume of activities accomplished versus planned; implementation fidelity; the extent to which each activity served the target realignment population; expenditures versus approved budget; the cost of a unit of service for each activity and where possible, how the unit cost compared to that of similar services in other jurisdictions; how well each activity achieved its outcomes; how many partnerships/collaborations were established as a result of the passage of AB 109 where information was shared across systems; and what public safety outcomes were achieved (e.g., prevent/reduce crime and recidivism) by the partnerships/collaborations. RDA completed its evaluation and presented its findings to the CCP-EC in July 2020. RDA’s complete evaluation has been shared with the Bureau of State Audits (BSA).
In addition to these two major initiatives, Alameda County public service partners regularly conduct evaluations of the effectiveness of their programs and services. The Alameda County Probation Department’s Research and Evaluation Agenda and Unit are strategically intended to develop and build the evidence base on community supervision policy and practice, and advance policies, programs, and services that promote client success. The mission of the Unit is to ensure that the practices and programmatic investments of the Alameda County Probation Department are informed by quality data and the latest research in the fields of community corrections and criminal justice with the ultimate aim of improving organizational efficiency and client outcomes with research and data. The BSA has received a copy of the Alameda County Probation Department Research Agenda.
Recommendation 3: To ensure that [it] reports accurate and consistent information to the Corrections Board, beginning with [its] next annual report, [Alameda] should consistently report all law enforcement and non-law enforcement expenditures funded through the accounts that constitute public safety realignment.
* * *
Thank you for your interest in the County of Alameda and the opportunity to respond to the California State Auditor Report 2020-102 regarding Public Safety Realignment. Please contact us at (510) 272-3862 if you have questions.
Very truly yours,
Susan S. Muranishi
cc: Each Member, Board of Supervisors
Gregory Ahern, Sheriff
Nancy O’Malley, District Attorney
Melissa Wilk, Auditor-Controller
Donna Ziegler, County Counsel
Wendy Still, Chief Probation Officer
Brendon Woods, Public Defender
Colleen Chawla, Health Care Services Agency Director
Lori Cox, Social Services Agency Directory
CALIFORNIA STATE AUDITOR’S COMMENTS ON THE RESPONSE FROM THE COUNTY OF ALAMEDA
To provide clarity and perspective, we are commenting on Alameda’s response to our audit. The numbers below correspond to the numbers we have placed in the margin of its response.
We look forward, as part of our regular follow‑up process, to reviewing Alameda’s reported progress in implementing our recommendations that it conduct mental health screenings of all inmates, develop a process requiring mental health providers to share with jails the mental health status of all inmates, and implement its new inmate death follow‑up process by June 2021.
We disagree with Alameda’s contention that its Partnership Committee is not required to review and make recommendations for all public safety realignment accounts. As we state in the report here, the California Constitution defines realignment legislation as legislation enacted on or before September 30, 2012, related to implementing the state budget plan and assigning responsibilities for public safety services to local agencies. That same constitutional provision, in addition to contemporaneous realignment legislation, defined “public safety services” to include various social services, such as preventing child abuse, servicing at‑risk children, providing adoption services, providing mental health services, and providing recovery services for substance abuse. As we state here, several bills enacted as part of the realignment legislation required the State to appropriate realignment funds to counties in 10 different accounts for a variety of these public safety purposes.
Further, state law relied upon a framework in each county that established a Partnership Committee, which is an advisory body that focuses on implementing realignment and oversees county efforts to assist felony inmates and probationers to rehabilitate and reenter the community. State law specified that the county Partnership Committees recommend plans to implement public safety realignment and may include recommendations to maximize the effectiveness of resources in programs related to drug courts, mental health treatment, counseling, education, and work training. Nothing we reviewed in state law or legislative history suggests that the public safety realignment plans prepared by Partnership Committees were limited to activities funded through the Community Corrections account. As such, as we describe here, Alameda’s Partnership Committee should have included activities from all 10 public safety realignment accounts in its oversight responsibilities. Moreover, state law requires the Partnership Committees to comprise representatives from each of the services funded by all 10 of the public safety accounts, including representatives from law enforcement, social services, mental health, employment, treatment programs, and community‑based organizations, as we describe here. Thus, we stand by our conclusion that Alameda’s interpretation of the scope of public safety realignment is overly narrow and that its Partnership Committee should oversee all public safety realignment accounts.
We disagree with Alameda’s assertion that it continuously evaluates the effectiveness of its programs. As we state here, Alameda’s evaluations only addressed a selection of services and programs funded by the Community Corrections account, disregarding the majority of its services and programs paid for by its public safety realignment funding. Moreover, Alameda only recently completed these evaluations in 2019 and 2020, even though the Legislature enacted realignment legislation nearly 10 years ago. Accordingly, we stand by our recommendation that Alameda conduct evaluations of the effectiveness of its programs and services funded by public safety realignment funds at least every three years.
Board of State and Community Corrections
March 1, 2021
The Honorable Elaine Howle
California State Auditor
621 Capitol Mall, Suite 1200
Sacramento, California 95814
Attention: Karen Wells, Senior Auditor Evaluator II
SENT VIA ELECTRONIC MAIL
Dear Ms. Howle,
The audit report on Public Safety Realignment includes several recommendations to the BSCC; some that can be easily implemented, and others that would require the Legislature to clarify reporting requirements related to Public Safety Realignment.
The audit report suggests:
- That the Board develop and distribute guidance to counties of its expectations for reporting financial information related to all Public Safety Realignment accounts.
BSCC response: As detailed below, the Board believes that the Legislature would need to specify additional reporting requirements for the Board to collect information regarding all 2011 Realignment accounts.
- Develop and implement a process to review and analyze information that counties provide about their realignment activities and expenditures each year.
BSCC response: With further legislative direction on the scope of information the counties should provide, the Board could develop a related process for review and analysis of that information.
- Develop definitions for terms [the Board] asks counties to report on, including assault on staff and inmate risk level.
BSCC response: The Board can clarify the data definition on “assaults on staff” in the jail profile survey. But the Board does not collect or report data on inmate risk level.
- The Board should include the cost of bringing jail facilities up to state standards in its biennial jail facility reports.
BSCC response: The Board acknowledges that this data has not been collected or reported in recent years, as the information would be high speculative, and because the responsibility to address items of noncompliance lies with the counties. However, the Board will implement a process to survey counties about their estimates of the cost to address items of noncompliance in future reports on the biennial inspection cycle required under Penal Code section 6031.2.
- To ensure that counties’ detention facilities address health, fire, and life safety deficiencies in a timely manner and that the Governor and Legislature are aware of these deficiencies . . . the Board should incorporate inspection information that the state fire marshal and county departments of public health provide to counties into its corrective action process and its reports to the Governor and Legislature.
BSCC response: The Board will consider adding these additional inspection details in the Enhanced Inspection Process and the biennial report to the Governor and Legislature.
- Conduct an independent analysis of best practices, such as effective practices for restitution or rehabilitative programs, related to public safety realignment and publish the results.
BSCC response: The BSCC will consider directing resources to analyze effective programs and determine best practices.
- Categorize the best practices it lists on its website for ease of reference to the counties.
BSCC response: The Board anticipates additional best practices information being added to the website.
- Determine common county needs stemming from realignment and promote specific best practices that meet the common needs of counties, including best practices developed and adopted by California counties.
BSCC response: The Board anticipates additional best practices information being added to the website.
As noted in Item #1, above, below is additional information to address the audit report's concerns over the Board "overseeing the activities related to all 10 public safety realignment accounts." Specifically, the Auditor believes that the BSCC should be collecting information from the counties regarding allocations and expenditures of all funds that were part of 2011 Realignment legislation. While the Auditor has clearly expressed a policy preference for transparency and accountability of these funds, the Auditor misunderstands the charge the BSCC was given by the Legislature.
The specific task that was given to the BSCC at the outset of Realignment was “to collect from each county the plan submitted pursuant to [Penal Code section] 1230.1 within two months of adoption by the county boards of supervisors.” (Pen. Code, § 6027, subd. (b)(11).) Penal Code section 1230.1, which was added by Assembly Bill 109 (Chapter 15, Statutes of 2011), required each county’s local Community Corrections Partnership to recommend a plan for the implementation of the “2011 public safety realignment.” The Auditor believes the reference to “2011 public safety realignment” in section 1230.1 refers to all of 2011 Realignment. The Auditor is incorrect. The local plans, which were required to be developed by AB 109, were exactly that: plans to implement AB 109. At the time, AB 109 amounted to a monumental shift in California’s criminal justice system, which envisioned a necessary collaboration from county stakeholders involved in the criminal justice system. As noted by the findings and declarations included in AB 109, “Community-based corrections programs require a partnership between local public safety entities and the county to provide and expand the use of community-based punishment for low-level offender populations. Each county’s Local Community Corrections Partnership should play a critical role in developing programs and ensuring appropriate outcomes for low-level offenders.” (Section 229, adding Section 17.5.) The Auditor points to the diversity of the Community Corrections Partnerships as evidence that the Legislature intended the plans to include planning for 10 Realignment accounts, which includes which includes things like funding for trial court security, foster care grants, and adult protective services.
The Auditor overstates the CCP’s involvement. The entire membership of the Community Corrections Partnership did not approve the initial plans developed pursuant to section 1230.1. Assembly Bill 117 (Chapter 39, Statutes of 2011), adopted subsequently to AB 109, amended Section 1230.1 to narrow plan approval to an executive committee comprised of “the chief probation officer of the county as chair, a chief of police, the sheriff, the District Attorney, the Public Defender, the presiding judge of the superior court, or his or her designee, and one department representative listed in either subparagraph (G), (H), or (J) of paragraph (2) of subdivision (b) of Section 1230, as designated by the county board of supervisors.” Instead, a smaller executive committee, chaired by the county chief probation officer, and including only one representative from either county social services, county mental health, or the county alcohol and substance abuse program, were required to vote on a plan and submit it to the county boards of supervisors. (Pen. Code, § 1230.1, subd. (b).) This smaller executive membership, mostly comprised of law enforcement officials, only makes sense in the context of the implementation of AB 109, not the broader array of county services impacted by of 2011 Realignment.
In addition, it makes little sense that all realigned funds would be subject to the planning process under section 1230.1. Some of the funds that were “realigned” to the counties and protected by Proposition 30 have their own separate planning and reporting requirements. For example, funds related to the Juvenile Justice Crime Prevention Act (JJCPA) were part of 2011 Realignment. However, the JJCPA requires counties to implement comprehensive, multiagency juvenile justice plans, developed by local juvenile justice coordinating councils. (Gov. Code, § 30061, subd. (b)(4).) Expenditure and outcome data related to JJCPA are then reported annually to the BSCC. (Gov. Code, § 30061, subd. (b)(4)(C).) How exactly should the CCP executive committee have planned for the use of JJCPA funds in the context of the 1230.1 plan? Should the executive committee have adopted the plan created by the juvenile justice coordinating councils or created its own plan? Should the BSCC have assumed the Legislature intended duplicative reporting? Or is it more reasonable to have assumed that the section 1230.1 planning process did not intend to encompass funds unrelated to AB 109 like the JJCPA?
Ultimately, the auditor argues that the plain meaning of “2011 public safety realignment” must mean all of 2011 Realignment legislation. To be sure, the misunderstanding regarding the term “2011 public safety realignment” may be in part due to the inconsistent naming conventions used by the Legislative Counsel as part of 2011 Realignment. AB 109 itself is titled “2011 Realignment Legislation addressing public safety.” The legislative counsel’s digest, however, refers to the bill as “Criminal justice alignment [sic].” The Legislative Counsel’s digest describing Senate Bill 1020 (Chapter 40, Statutes of 2012), which amended provisions dealing with the Local Revenue Fund describes the bill as “Public Safety Realignment.” However, notwithstanding the reference to “Public Safety Realignment” in the legislative counsel’s digest, which it should be noted, is not binding statutory authority Mt. Hawley Insurance Co. v. Lopez (2013) 215 Cal.App.4th 1385. the bill itself was titled “2011 Realignment Legislation.” References to “2011 Public Safety Realignment” within SB 1020 itself, however, can only be reasonably construed as referring to AB 109 and are distinct from references to 2011 Realignment Legislation. (Compare Section 18, amending Government Code section 30029.07 [setting forth the calculation of the Community Corrections Growth Special Account The Community Corrections Growth Special Account can only be used for funding programs related to AB 109. (Gov. Code, § 30025, subd. (f)(11).) expressly tied to the implementation of “2011 Public Safety Realignment”] with Section 4 [describing all legislation related to 2011 Realignment].) This reference is the only other statutory reference to “2011 public safety realignment” in all of California’s statutes aside from Penal Code section 1230.1. As such, it is far more reasonable to conclude that the references in Penal Code section 1230.1 and Government Code section 30029.07 refer to the same thing: AB 109, which was a component of the larger 2011 Realignment.
The Auditor has recommended that the BSCC develop and distribute guidance to counties of its expectation for reporting financial information related to all public safety realignment accounts. Presumably, this would be done under the voluntary CCP plan reporting process that has been annually part of the Budget Act. This grant program provides $100,000, $150,000, or $200,000 allocations to counties for providing “information about the actual implementation of the… Community Corrections Partnership plan accepted by the county board of supervisors” pursuant to Section 1230.1 of the Penal Code. The report shall include, but not be limited to, progress in achieving outcome measures as identified in the plan or otherwise available. Additionally, the report shall include plans for the [following budget year] allocation of funds, including future outcome measures, programs and services, and funding priorities as identified in the plan accepted by the county board of supervisors.
The annual CCP reporting, however, is directly tied to the Penal Code section 1230.1 process, however. And as explained above, the 1230.1 process does not require an accounting of all funds related to 2011 Realignment.
The Board believes that additional legislative direction on county reporting on Public Safety Realignment would be necessary to address the concerns raised in the audit report.
The Board will provide additional information at regular intervals as requested by the auditor.
KATHLEEN T. HOWARD
CALIFORNIA STATE AUDITOR’S COMMENTs ON THE RESPONSE FROM THE BOARD OF STATE AND COMMUNITY CORRECTIONS
To provide clarity and perspective, we are commenting on the Corrections Board’s response to our audit. The numbers below correspond to the numbers we have placed in the margin of its response.
The Corrections Board’s contention that the Legislature needs to specify additional reporting requirements or provide further direction on its review of county‑reported information related to public safety realignment is incorrect. As we state here, state law requires the Corrections Board to collect, analyze, and report information from each county to the Governor and the Legislature. Thus, we stand by our recommendations that the Corrections Board develop and distribute guidance to counties of its expectations for financial reporting, and that it should review and analyze the information that counties provide.
We disagree with the Correction Board’s assertion that the Partnership Committees are not required under current law to review and make recommendations for, nor report to the Corrections Board on, all public safety realignment accounts. As we state here, the California Constitution defines realignment legislation as legislation enacted on or before September 30, 2012, related to implementing the state budget plan and assigning responsibilities for public safety services to local agencies. That same constitutional provision, in addition to contemporaneous realignment legislation, defined “public safety services” to include various social services, such as preventing child abuse, servicing at‑risk children, providing adoption services, providing mental health services, and providing recovery services for substance abuse. As we describe here, several bills enacted as part of the realignment legislation required the State to appropriate realignment funds to counties in 10 different accounts for a variety of public safety purposes.
Further, state law relied upon a framework in each county that established a Partnership Committee, which is an advisory body that focuses on implementing realignment and oversees county efforts to assist felony inmates and probationers to rehabilitate and reenter the community. State law specified that the county Partnership Committees recommend plans to implement public safety realignment and may include recommendations to maximize the effectiveness of resources related to programs such as drug courts, mental health treatment, counseling, education, and work training. Nothing we reviewed in state law or legislative history suggests that the public safety realignment plans prepared by Partnership Committees were limited to activities funded through the Community Corrections account. To further support our conclusion, state law requires the Partnership Committees to consist of representatives from each of the services funded by the public safety accounts, including representatives from law enforcement, social services, mental health, employment, treatment programs, and community‑based organizations, as we describe here. As such, the Corrections Board is misleading in its insinuation that because the smaller executive committee, which is the voting body of the Partnership Committee, approves the county plans it minimizes the composition and responsibilities of the Partnership Committee in its entirety.
The Corrections Board also states that subsequent legislation created the Partnership Committee executive committee, consisting primarily of officials generally associated with criminal justice, to submit the initial one‑time plan to implement public safety realignment. The use of an executive committee to present a plan to the board of supervisors provided an approach to carry out the law, but did not demonstrate legislative intent to limit jurisdiction. The same state law that required the executive committee to present the plan to the board of supervisors also specified that the plan may include recommendations regarding non‑traditional law enforcement services, including drug courts, residential multiservice centers, mental health treatment programs, counseling programs, community services, educational programs, and work training programs. The Corrections Board also attempts to draw an inference that because the Legislature enacted the requirement on the Partnership Committee in Assembly Bill 109—the same bill that enacted the majority of the provisions that transferred custody of certain felons from state prison to county jail—that the committee’s responsibility was limited to corrections‑related expenses. This conclusion is contrary to the operation of California legislation, in which a single bill may cover a variety of topics so long as the various sections in the bill are either functionally related to one another, or are reasonably germane to one another or the objects of the enactment. One should not read the addition of a function to the duties of the Partnership Committees in Assembly Bill 109 as limiting those duties to the primary object of the bill. Therefore, we stand by our report’s conclusion that the Corrections Board’s interpretation of the scope of public safety realignment is overly narrow.
As we state here, having definitions of terms such as, but not limited to, inmate risk classifications would facilitate statewide comparisons of county data and better enable the Corrections Board to analyze the impact and effectiveness of realignment. Additionally, as we state on here, the Corrections Board has not defined terms for which counties have requested definitions. Our recommendation on here provides two examples of terms the Corrections Board should define, but does not limit it to just these two terms. The Corrections Board is correct that it does not collect or report on inmate risk levels, and we have revised our report text for accuracy.
The Corrections Board’s explanation for why it does not include estimates of the costs to bring jail facilities up to state standards in its biennial jail facility reports is unreasonable. As we point out here, state law requires the Corrections Board to include estimates of the costs for counties to correct jail deficiencies that it identifies in its reports to the Legislature. Moreover, although the Corrections Board is concerned that its estimates would be speculative, counties already must also submit budget estimates to the Corrections Board whenever they plan construction or repairs costing more than $15,000. Therefore, counties could submit estimates of the cost of rectifying jail deficiencies, which the Corrections Board could publish in its jail inspection reports. Additionally, even though it is the responsibility of the counties to address deficiencies, state law still requires the Corrections Board to report these cost estimates. Therefore, by reporting these cost estimates, we believe that the Corrections Board would provide vital information to inform the Legislature about the costs of bringing county jail facilities up to state standards.
We are disappointed to see that the Corrections Board indicates that it will only consider implementing our recommendations. We believe that if the Corrections Board implements our recommendations, it will add significant value to its oversight role. Specifically, by adding inspection information to its corrective action process and reports, the Corrections Board will help prompt counties to address jail deficiencies in a timely manner and ensure that the Governor and the Legislature are informed of these deficiencies. Additionally, by conducting an analysis of best practices, the Corrections Board will be able to identify and publish effective best practices to assist counties with their public safety efforts. We look forward, as part of our regular follow‑up process, to reviewing the Corrections Board’s progress in implementing our recommendations.
County of Fresno
March 1, 2021
Fresno County’s Response to the State Audit on Realignment
On behalf of the County of Fresno, the following is a response to the draft, redacted State Audit report titled, “Public Safety Realignment: Weak State and County Oversight Does Not Ensure That Funds Are Spent Effectively”.
The County of Fresno would like to thank the State audit team for work on the audit of what is commonly referred to as 2011 Public Safety Realignment. The audit team was diligent in their work and we appreciated the cooperative tone that they took with County of Fresno staff and officials throughout this process. The State Auditor’s Office was tasked with a challenging audit on complex legislation that grouped many different subjects, was a major policy shift and was proposed and adopted on a very rapid schedule. The background leading to this legislation in California is partially described in the State Auditor’s report. The primary motivation for the 2011 Public Safety Realignment legislation was the State of California’s need, based on adverse decisions in federal court litigation, to drastically lower the state prison inmate population. At the same time the State attempted to introduce certain reforms that would facilitate the provision of services to criminal offenders out of custody in an attempt to reduce recidivism.
The massive shift of responsibility from the State correctional system to local courts and county and city governments required extensive negotiations over the final legislation and an eventual constitutional amendment to secure both existing and new sources of funding to support the local programs that would be heavily impacted. The Community Corrections Partnership (“CCP”) is a multidisciplinary and multiagency board that is responsible for creating and updating the Community Corrections Plan for a county, for making budget recommendations to the Board of Supervisors for those funds falling within the Community Corrections sub-account of 2011 Safety Realignment Funding, and for providing annual reports on such expenditures to the Board of State Community Corrections (“BSCC”). Other funding grouped under the 2011 Public Safety Realignment legislation flows directly to district attorney and public defender offices, to behavioral health and social services departments, recognizing the increased impact on these locally provided services caused by 2011 Safety Realignment. Whether under the oversight of the CCP or distributed directly to the departments responsible for the relevant programs, the County of Fresno ensures that funds received under the 2011 Public Safety Realignment legislation are used only for their restricted purposes. There is no finding in the State Auditor’s report to the contrary.
There is, however, a fundamental disconnect between the overall position of the State Auditor on the structure of 2011 Public Safety Realignment funding and the role of the CCPs in handling these funds and the consistent interpretation given the statutory and constitutional framework by the BSCC and all the counties in California over the past 10 years. In its report, the State Auditor has taken a very technical reading of the 2011 Public Safety Realignment statutes, and particularly California Penal Code §§ 1230.1 and 30025. Penal Code §1230.1 sets out the responsibility for the CCP to recommend an initial local plan “for the implementation of the 2011 public safety realignment.” Penal Code § 30025 lists all the sub-accounts in the Local Revenue Fund 2011. The State Auditor relies on the vague statement in Section 1230.1 to argue for an expansive reading of the CCPs responsibilities under the realignment statutes. The State Auditor draws this conclusion without reference to the common interpretation given to such statutes by the involved state and local entities, and based on a dearth of documentation concerning the political process of negotiations that went on between the stakeholders at the time the original 2011 Public Safety Realignment legislation and related constitutional amendments that were passed. Because of this, the State Auditor’s report ascribes to the CCP a much broader authority and supervision over all 2011 Public Safety Realignment sub-accounts than was ever intended by the Legislature or ever put into practice by the involved state and local agencies. It must be noted that a review of the reports submitted by the various counties to the BSCC over the past decade indicate a uniform understanding of the CCP’s budgeting and reporting obligations as being limited to the Community Corrections sub-account.With the possible exception of the funds which are listed for the District Attorneys’ and Public Defenders’ offices which are generally included in the County annual reports, although with the notation that such funds are directly allocated to those offices and not a result of a budget recommendation of the CCP.
The misinterpretation of the relevant statutes by the State Auditor in this regard results in some of the State Auditor’s findings and recommendations being inconsistent with 2011 Public Safety Realignment statutes. Further, if such findings were correct or such recommendations implemented, it would result in practical problems that would greatly increase the burden and cost to local entities and the State of accomplishing the goals of the 2011 Public Safety Realignment. The State Auditor makes the following recommendations:
“To ensure consistency between state allocations and county accounting records, the Legislature should amend state law to require counties to separate mental health funding for public safety realignment from previously enacted mental health funding.” (Draft Audit Report, p. 40 (recommendation to State Legislature).
“Unless the Legislature clarifies its intent otherwise, to ensure that the [county] prudently and appropriately spends realignment funds, the Partnership Committee at [Fresno] should, starting with [its] next annual budget, review and make budget recommendations to [its] board supervisors for all realignment accounts, including the accounts that fund non-law enforcement departments and community-based organizations.” (Draft Audit Report, p. 40 (recommendation to Fresno County)
These recommendations would unnecessarily complicate and add a bureaucratic step to County budgeting processes. On a practical level many of the mental health and social service programs funded partially with 2011 Public Safety Realignment funds are pre-existing programs that provide the same services to those convicted of crimes as are provided to the general public and can, therefore, be managed more effectively. The relevant mental health or social service department is a far superior place for the decision making for budgeting purposes for these programs overall based on the knowledge that these departments have concerning the total demands of the community on these programs. Placing partial responsibility on the CCP to monitor and make recommendations only a portion of the funds for particular programs needlessly adds another layer of bureaucracy and will lead to confusion rather than efficiencies. The presence of mental health and social service departments on the CCP enable the CCP to make reference to the services available from those departments without having to dictate how those services are delivered as a whole.
Several other of the realignment sub-accounts listed in Penal Code § 30025 stand out as obvious examples of funding not suited for budget recommendations by the CCP.
1. The trial security account; there is little to no relation to the aims and purposes of reducing prison populations or recidivism involved in this area. These funds are related to providing physical security at the courts. This arrangement is dealt with in separate statutory schemes providing for a memorandum of understanding between the Sheriff and the local superior court.
2. The mental health account; for the reasons stated above, these funds are allocated and budgeted by the department with the expertise as to how best to deliver the services to all members of the community. The Behavioral Health Department in Fresno County is aware of the restrictions on the 2011 Public Safety Realignment funds and utilizes them only for those purposes.
3. The District Attorney and Public Defender Account; As noted earlier these are directly funded to these two departments and included in their budget only to the extent they can be expended for revocation proceedings. (Cal. Penal Code § 30025(f)(12)). There is no recommendation that the CCP could make with respect to the budgeting of these funds.
The above examples point out why the State Auditor’s interpretation of the 2011 Public Safety Realignment statutes is overly broad with respect to the authority of the CCP. Several other of the funds are subject to separate reporting procedures from the annual report provided by CCPs to the BSCC. It must be noted that the CCP is nowhere mentioned in Government Code § 30025, while the budgeting authority of the governing boards of counties (or a city and county) and the duties of the county treasurers are referenced throughout the statute.
On the following pages you will find the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office and the Probation Department’s responses to the specific recommendations. The County is available should there be any questions related to these responses.
Sheriff’s Office/Jail Response to Auditor’s Recommendations
State Auditor’s report page 27, Recommendation #1
To comply with state jail capacity standards, [Fresno] should take steps to address overcrowding in [its] jails, while ensuring public safety.
The Fresno Sheriff’s Office, Jail Division, has long since taken steps to prevent “overcrowding” in its jails, while ensuring public safety pursuant to the John B. Cruz case in Federal Court, Case No. F-93-5070. By order of the Federal Court after settlement agreements between the Plaintiffs and the County of Fresno, capacity numbers and other requirements including staffing, exercise, showers, noise mitigation etc., were initiated to comply with the court’s orders pursuant to a pilot project approved by the California Board of Corrections. The Fresno County Jail system has operated with these capacity levels, or less, since 1994 utilizing release criteria established by the Sheriff so that “overcrowding” never occurs and federal set capacity levels are never exceeded. (Cruz case attached.)
Public safety is ensured in that release criteria to prevent overcrowding excludes from such release if an inmate is incarcerated from criminal charges listed in California Penal Code Section 667.5 (Violent Felonies).
The Fresno Sheriff’s Office believes a significant factor it has to deal with in controlling its population, is the large amount of “State” inmates it houses that are either sentenced under AB109 or those who are under court order to be transferred to a “State” facility. To date, the Fresno Sheriff’s Jail is housing 736 inmates that fall into this category. This accounts for 30% of the total current inmate population (2,465). Housing these inmates continues to be a significant factor in the prevention of overcrowding in the Fresno County Jail.
Of those 736 inmates mentioned, (374) have been sentenced, ordered, and are waiting to be transferred to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR), (76) inmates have been court ordered, and are waiting to be transferred to the California Department of State Hospitals (DSH), and (286) inmates who are in the Fresno County Jail under the various categories of AB 109 who would have previously been incarcerated in state prison. These include felons sentenced to state time and serving it in the county jail, state parole violators, felony violators of mandatory supervised release, and felony violators of post release community supervision.
Page 9 of the Auditor’s report also speaks to jail population and references a U.S. Supreme Court decision that states, “overcrowding creates unsafe and unsanitary conditions that hamper the prisons’ ability to deliver medical and mental health care effectively. The same decision notes that overcrowding can promote unrest and violence and cause inmates with latent mental illnesses to develop overt symptoms or have their conditions worsen. Overcrowding creates similar concerns in county jails.” For [Fresno], we found that realignment contributed to overcrowding.
In response, while realignment has led to increased jail population, the release criteria established by the Sheriff that resulted from the Cruz case has prevented realignment from leading to overcrowding and it certainly has not led to unsafe, unsanitary conditions or inadequate medical and mental health care.
On July 1, 2018, the County of Fresno Contracted with Wellpath Inc., to provide "Comprehensive Medical and Behavioral Health Care Services” in compliance with all applicable laws and regulations, including, Title 15 of the California Code of Regulations, California Welfare & Institutions Code Sections 5150, et seq., and 5600.4, California Penal Code Section 4011.6 and the California Education Code. This included minimum staffing of a medical director, physicians, psychiatrists, optometrist, optician, medical and behavioral health clinicians, a dentist, nurses, medical/dental/psych assistants and technicians, and management and administrative staff necessary to provide health care services for Fresno Jail capacity of 3,291 inmates.
Over the past three years of the medical contract with Wellpath, the annual average daily population (ADP) was 2,745 inmates. As we have contracted with Wellpath for comprehensive medical and behavioral health care services for 3,291 inmates, the Sheriff’s Office contends that the housing of 2,745 inmates in its jails does not create unsafe or unsanitary conditions that affect our ability to provide effective medical and mental health care services for which we have contracted. On the contrary, BSCC inspection reports over the past three years have found no unsafe or unsanitary conditions within the Fresno County Jails.
State Auditor’s report page 27, Recommendation #3
“To ensure that county jails have sufficient information to determine appropriate housing and supervision of inmates with mental illnesses, by June 2021 [Fresno] should develop a process requiring mental health providers to share with jails the mental health status of all inmates, such as whether they have a mild, moderate, or serious mental illness.”
Working with the jail’s medical/mental health provider (Wellpath), there currently is a process in which seriously mentally ill (SMI) inmates are identified. Mental health providers share the mental health status of these inmates with their custody partners. This includes documentation of mental health status in the jail’s jail management system (OffenderTrak), so that custody can make informed decisions regarding inmate housing and supervision in the hopes of minimizing violence, injury, and death to inmates and staff.
In response to the State Auditor’s recommendations, the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office will work with its’s medical/mental health provider (Wellpath), to increase the sharing of all inmates mental health status with their custody partners. Building off its current process of identifying SMI inmates, the Sheriff’s Office will add the additional mental health levels of “mild” and “moderate” to its existing jail management system to ensure that custody officers have knowledge of inmates mental health status in order to make informed decisions regarding inmate housing and supervision in the hopes of minimizing violence, injury, and death to inmates and staff. In recent litigation regarding jail medical services, plaintiff’s counsel took issue with Wellpath sharing mental health data with line-level Correctional Officers stating that was an unnecessary breach of confidential information.
In response to the State Auditor’s report citing concerns by the mental health provider (Wellpath), about sharing information regarding inmates’ mental health with county jails staff because of confidentiality restrictions, under the privacy rules of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). Fresno’s mental health provider contends that HIPAA prevents it from sharing certain details of an inmate’s mental illness with jails and said that inmates do not want jail staff to have access to their mental health information.
Wellpath’s concerns regarding the sharing of mental health information under HIPAA are addressed under 45 CFR § 164.512(k)(5), which specifically outlines the standards for the disclosure of protected health care information for specialized government functions. This includes disclosure of protected health care information to correctional facilities for the provisions of health care and the administration and maintenance of the safety, security, and good order of the institution. Under 45 CFR § 164.512(k)(5), the sharing of confidential mental health information of inmates with custody is a permitted exception to HIPAA. Wellpath is aware of this section and has agreed to share mental health information for this purpose.
FRESNO COUNTY PROBATION DEPARTMENT RESPONSES TO RECOMMENDATIONS
Unless the Legislature clarifies its intent otherwise, to ensure that the [county] prudently and appropriately spends realignment funds, the Partnership Committee at [Fresno] should, starting with [its] next annual budget, review and make budget recommendations to [its] board supervisors for all realignment accounts, including the accounts that fund non-law enforcement departments and community-based organizations. Further, [Fresno] should ensure that [it] budgets all realignment funds to eliminate current surpluses in realignment accounts and prevent future surpluses.
As discussed more fully in the cover letter to these responses, Fresno County disagrees with this recommendation. The County recommends the Community Corrections Partnership’s (CCP) oversight remain unchanged Fresno County believes a vast majority of the CCPs in other Counties have the same role as Fresno County’s.
Fresno County believes a prudent reserve is required to sustain programs through a downturn in the economy. In addition, sufficient reserves allow for the addition of new and innovative programs without cutting existing programs or services. Growth in many of the Enhancing Law Enforcement Activities funds have increased 50 plus percent over the last five years. There has been significant growth, however, a downturn in the economy could result in the loss of much of that growth. Fresno County recommends a reserve up to 50 percent of the prior year revenue received for each fund. Fresno County will develop a multi-year plan, starting next fiscal year, to reduce the reserves, as necessary, in each account to meet the above referenced reserve level.
To ensure that the programs and services funded by public safety realignment funds are effective, beginning immediately, [Fresno] should conduct evaluations of the effectiveness of [its] programs and services at least every three years.
The CCP in Fresno County provides ongoing evaluations of programs funded with Community Corrections revenue. The Departments that oversee funding for specific 2011 Public Safety Realignment Funds will continue to have the responsibility to evaluate the effectiveness of their programs.
To ensure that [Fresno] reports accurate and consistent information to the Corrections Board, beginning with [its] next annual reports, [Fresno] should consistently report all law enforcement and non-law enforcement expenditures funded through the account that constitute public safety realignment.
Fresno County disagrees with this recommendation for the reasons stated in the response to the first recommendation.
CALIFORNIA STATE AUDITOR’S COMMENTS ON THE RESPONSE FROM THE COUNTY OF FRESNO
To provide clarity and perspective, we are commenting on Fresno’s response to our audit. The numbers below correspond to the numbers we have placed in the margin of its response.
We disagree with Fresno’s narrow interpretation of public safety realignment legislation and its assertion that its Partnership Committee is only required to oversee the Community Corrections account. As we discuss here, the California Constitution defines realignment legislation as legislation enacted on or before September 30, 2012, related to implementing the state budget plan and assigning responsibilities for public safety services to local agencies. That same constitutional provision, in addition to contemporaneous realignment legislation, defined “public safety services” to include various social services, such as preventing child abuse, servicing at‑risk children, providing adoption services, providing mental health services, and providing recovery services for substance abuse. As we state here, several bills enacted as part of the realignment legislation required the State to appropriate realignment funds to counties in 10 different accounts for a variety of these public safety purposes.
Further, state law relied upon a framework in each county that established a Partnership Committee, which is an advisory body that focuses on implementing realignment and oversees county efforts to assist felony inmates and probationers to rehabilitate and reenter the community. State law specified that the county Partnership Committees recommend plans to implement public safety realignment and may include recommendations to maximize the effectiveness of resources in programs related to drug courts, mental health treatment, counseling, education, and work training. Nothing we reviewed in state law or legislative history suggests that the public safety realignment plans prepared by Partnership Committees were limited to activities funded through the Community Corrections account. Moreover, state law requires the Partnership Committees to comprise representatives from each of the services funded by the public safety accounts, including representatives from law enforcement, social services, mental health, employment, treatment programs, and community‑based organizations, as we describe here. Fresno refers to a common interpretation given to relevant statutes following the enactment of the realignment legislation. However, notwithstanding any county's view of the law, an erroneous administrative construction does not govern the interpretation of a statute, and public officials are compelled to obey the law. Given the plain meaning of the relevant statutes, we stand by our conclusion that Fresno’s interpretation of public safety realignment funding is overly narrow and that its Partnership Committee should oversee all public safety realignment accounts.
Although Fresno claims that our report recommendations would result in practical problems or unnecessarily complicate and add a bureaucratic step to its budgeting processes, its concern does not absolve Fresno from following state law as written. We acknowledge here that Fresno expressed concern with the practicality of its Partnership Committee overseeing all of the accounts that constitute public safety realignment. However, as we explain in the previous comment, nothing in public safety realignment legislation suggests that county Partnership Committees’ oversight is limited to activities funded only through the Community Corrections account. In addition, as we state here of our report, the Partnership Committees generally include representatives who are recipients of funds from each of the 10 realignment accounts, such as mental health and social services representatives. As such, based on the unambiguous, plain language of the realignment legislation, Partnership Committees should also oversee funding in all 10 public safety realignment accounts and the mental health funding that the State pays to counties under the 2011 public safety realignment legislation. Therefore, we stand by our recommendation that, unless the Legislature clarifies its intent otherwise, Fresno’s Partnership Committee should review and make budget recommendations for all public safety realignment accounts.
As the report underwent an editorial review, the page numbers shifted. Accordingly, the page numbers included in Fresno’s response do not correspond to the page numbers in the final report.
Fresno’s narrow view of just one portion of state law fails to grasp the entirety of realignment legislation. As we state here, the State enacted five bills to accomplish public safety realignment and, based on our review of this legislation, Fresno should have included in its Partnership Committee’s oversight responsibilities all 10 public safety accounts that state law required the counties to create.
Contrary to Fresno’s claim that overcrowding never occurs, as we state here of our report, its jails have generally exceeded the State’s jail capacity standards since 2013. As we describe here, the Corrections Board adopted its jail capacity standards as regulatory law to ensure the health and safety of inmates and staff. Although Fresno explains that it has complied with the federal court order, which includes more lenient requirements than the State's jail capacity standards, this adherence does not alleviate it from its obligation to comply with state regulations. Moreover, the fact that Fresno may temporarily house inmates who are awaiting transfer to state facilities also does not relieve it from adhering to the State’s jail capacity standards. Therefore, we stand by our recommendation that it should take steps to address overcrowding in its jails, while ensuring public safety, by following the State’s jail capacity standards.
We disagree with Fresno’s contention that it maintains prudent reserve levels in its public safety realignment accounts. As we state here, Fresno has retained surpluses beyond a reasonable reserve amount in some of its public safety realignment accounts, including reserves that would fund five years of operations in one of its accounts. We also disagree that a 50 percent reserve level is reasonable because, as we discuss here, even if the county took a more conservative approach to its reserves, based on our review of the funding variances from year to year, the county’s reserve should not exceed 25 percent of the previous year’s revenues. Because Fresno lacks a formal plan to spend these funds, it cannot justify retaining such excessive reserves. On March 22, 2021, Fresno asserted that its surpluses were slightly lower than those shown in Table 3; however, the county failed to provide adequate documentation to support its assertion. We look forward to reviewing Fresno’s progress in developing its multiyear plan to reduce its excess reserves as part of our regular follow up process.
Fresno’s assertion that it provides ongoing evaluations of its programs funded with its Community Corrections account is inaccurate. As we state here, Fresno has conducted evaluations of a variety of the programs and services it supports using public safety realignment funds other than the Community Corrections account. These evaluations did not occur until 2017 and 2018, even though realignment commenced almost 10 years ago. As we recognize here, Fresno indicated it has plans for future evaluations, which we look forward to reviewing during our regular follow‑up process.
County of Los Angeles
March 3, 2021
Ms. Elaine M. Howle
California State Auditor
621 Capitol Mall, Suite 1200
Sacramento, California 95814
Dear Ms. Howle:
The County of Los Angeles (LA County) appreciates the opportunity to respond to that portion of the forthcoming audit on Public Safety Realignment related to LA County ("Audit"). Although LA County disagrees with certain assertions contained in the Audit, we appreciate the conclusions that LA County:
- Delivers enhanced coordinated rehabilitative services and programs to our inmate population;
- Has taken the necessary steps to ensure its jail staff has sufficient information to make informed decisions regarding how to house and supervise inmates with mental health concerns without providing access to medical records or details of the mental illness; and
- Thoroughly investigates inmate deaths.
The LA County Board of Supervisors ("Board") is committed to broadly reforming LA County's criminal justice system, with a goal of reducing recidivism and enhancing the safety of our neighborhoods. The Board's evidence-based approaches are designed to, among other things, provide alternatives to incarceration, better address the needs of justice-involved youth, and give communities a stronger voice in the affairs of LA County’s law enforcement agencies. LA County has prioritized a "care first, jails last" model that moves away from a focus on punishment and instead focuses on rehabilitation, robust re-entry services, and meaningful reengagement with the community.
In this vein, LA County has already undertaken considerable programmatic, research, and capital‑project efforts to address the issues of mass incarceration and the striking equity imbalance within the justice system exemplified by disproportionate representation of economically disadvantaged communities and people of color. On February 12, 2019, the Board created a workgroup called the “Alternatives to Incarceration” workgroup (ATI), which was a true collaboration between LA County entities and community stakeholders to create a comprehensive blueprint for guidance on how to improve the health of our County residents and communities, improve public safety, and improve the effectiveness of our justice system by reducing the reliance on LA County’s jails. In response, the ATI has created a bold, unique, and ground‑breaking vision for transforming LA County’s approach to public safety and community wellness that is inspiring action locally and serves as a national model for regional collaboration.
The COVID-19 pandemic has increased the need for ATI’s vision, highlighting longstanding inequities that are especially evident when it comes to our incarcerated population—most of whom are economically disadvantaged people of color. The justice system responded, in part, by using risk assessment tools to release a significant number of individuals from our County jails. In addition, the Board reaffirmed its commitment to a care first model by directing the relevant County partners (i.e., health, mental health, and housing) to develop a long-term plan for maintaining a decreased jail population.
The Audit affirms the positive benefits resulting from the proactive steps LA County has taken to shift away from punishment and focus on rehabilitation, robust re-entry services, and meaningful reengagement with the community. However, notably, the Audit makes inferences and draws conclusions that are not supported by the law or the intent expressed by the State Legislature, indicates a misconception of LA County's budget process and the work performed by the LA County Public Safety Realignment Team, and infers a mindset towards the criminal justice system that does not represent the will of the residents of LA County or State lawmakers.
Finally, this response provides an opportunity to highlight the potential new paths LA County is charting to address a paramount issue facing the State. We emphasize a need to move away from the tired notion that more jails are the solution to addressing the criminal justice crisis in our communities, and move toward the legislative intent of realignment, which emphasizes community-focused support structures that capitalize on the strengths and needs of the individual rather than the ineffective settings of mass incarceration.
LA County's Jail Overpopulation Is Due to State Demands on LA County Jails and LA County Has Made Significant Efforts to Reduce the Inmate Population
LA County acknowledges its jails were not built to house inmates serving multiple-year sentences. The jails were built to house individuals awaiting trial, and those individuals convicted of misdemeanors with a sentence of no more than a year.
The following table provides a current snapshot of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (LASD) jail population:
|County of Los Angeles
As of March 1, 2021
|Awaiting Trial / Serving Jail Sentence||10,372||68%|
|Awaiting Transfer to CDCR||3,854||25%|
|Transferred from CDCR - awaiting hearing||700||5%|
|Competency - Awaiting State hospital bed||406||3%|
There are presently 15,332 inmates in the LA County jail system. Notably twenty-five percent (3,854) of those inmates are awaiting transfer to the State’s prison facilities operated by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR). An additional 700 are CDCR inmates transferred to LA County for hearings who have been unable to return to the CDCR. And finally, 406 inmates have been deemed incompetent to stand trial and are waiting for a bed in a Department of State Hospitals facility. As such, over thirty percent of LA County jail inmates are individuals who should be in State custody rather than in the County's facilities.
The County's justice partners, i.e., the LASD, the Probation Department, and the offices of the District Attorney, Public Defender, and Alternate Public Defender, are absolutely committed to reducing the jail population as part of LA County’s “care first, jails last” vision. To provide context of the sheer magnitude of LA County’s operation, LASD processed 119,432 people through the Los Angeles County jail system, accepting 56,651 and releasing 62,781 of them in 2020. These numbers do not include those who spent time at local police or station jails, just those who arrived at the Inmate Reception Center (IRC) or Century Regional Detention Facility (CRDF).
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, by engaging in ongoing efforts and using every tool at their disposal, LA County justice partners were able to safely reduce the jail population at a higher percentage than any other jail system nationwide. At the end of February 2020, the LA County jail system had 17,076 inmates. By May 10, 2020, the jail population had dropped to 11,708 -- a nearly 32% reduction in only 2½ months. There are presently very few pre-trial inmates incarcerated in LA County jails on non-serious, non-violent, non-sexual charges.
The efforts to reduce the jail population include:
- LASD continues to work with its LA County justice partners and the Los Angeles County Superior Court to release those sentenced to CDCR facilities who are awaiting transfer. LASD has released 713 of these inmates, though more are sentenced each week and the number of inmates waiting for transfer continues to increase.
- LASD expanded “Rutherford”“Rutherford” refers to the federal court case Rutherford v. Block, which involved overcrowding conditions in the County jails and resulted in a number of court orders through which the LASD has been able to release sentenced inmates early to reduce overcrowding. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, LASD would only early release inmates who had been sentenced directly to the County jail on misdemeanors (those doing “County time”). Historically, depending on the overall population and facility capacities, individuals sentenced to County time for misdemeanor crimes would serve anywhere from 10 to 100 percent of their sentences, while those sentenced for felonies under AB 109 would complete 100 percent of their sentences. releases to those sentenced for AB 109 crimes who were within a year of release and had completed at least 70% of their sentences. In addition to using the compassionate release process where appropriate, LASD also released medically vulnerable AB 109 inmates who had completed at least 10% of their sentences.
- Under “Rutherford,” and solely because of COVID-19, LASD also increased the “shorts” (inmates sentenced to small amounts of time) from 180 days to 240 days. Before the pandemic, LASD would automatically release an inmate sentenced on a misdemeanor crime to 180 days or less in LA County jail. Because of COVID-19, LASD has and will continue to automatically release those sentenced on misdemeanor crimes to 240 days or less.
- LASD has been using the procedure under Penal Code § 4024.1, which allows the release of sentenced prisoners to relieve overcrowding with permission of the Los Angeles County Superior Court. The Superior Court renews authority to the Sheriff pursuant to this statute every 30 days. Using its combined authority under “Rutherford” and Penal Code § 4024.1, LASD is also releasing qualifying inmates who have served 10% of their sentence with up to 30 days remaining to serve.
- LASD has historically released on citations to appear most pre-trial inmates arrested on misdemeanors (other than those prohibited by statute - misdemeanor sex and domestic violence crimes, etc.). Under Penal Code § 853.85, a judge must issue an order to release those arrested for felonies because cite releases are not authorized for felony offenses. Before the California Judicial Council’s Emergency Rule 4 and the Los Angeles County Superior Court emergency bail orders, the Superior Court worked with LASD and its LA County justice partners to create a system for bail deviation hearings so that pre-trial felons being held on non-serious, non-violent, non-sexual charges could be released on a citation. LASD delivered lists of qualified inmates to the District Attorney’s Office and Public Defender’s Office for vetting and bail deviation hearings took place. The first list delivered in March 2020 by LASD included those qualified inmates who were age 60 and over. The total on the lists exceeded 2,400 people before the implementation of Emergency Rule 4 on April 13, 2020. The Superior Court held hearings with the Public Defender’s Office/Alternate Public Defender’s Office and District Attorney’s Office, stipulating to a release when possible, and then sending a release order to LASD with a date on which the person was to return to court. LASD then processed the release, providing the person with a notice to appear. Emergency Rule 4 and the Los Angeles County Superior Court emergency bail orders have largely made this process moot as most people charged with non-serious, non-violent, non-sexual charges are being released on citations in the field or at station jails.
- LASD continues to send lists of medically vulnerable inmates and inmates eligible for release consideration under Penal Code § 4024.1 to its justice partners for consideration. Throughout the pandemic, LASD has received orders from the court to release 2,059 inmates from these lists, though far more have actually been released because LA County Deputy District Attorneys and Deputy Public Defenders and Alternate Public Defenders often stipulate to release in open court with inmates being released directly from the courthouse, so LASD does not receive a court order to release in those situations.
- Early in the pandemic, LASD also increased the maximum aggregate bail amount on misdemeanor offenses and warrants for initial admission to the jail (excluding misdemeanor sex crimes, domestic violence, and select others) from $25,000 to $50,000.
- LASD and the Probation Department also worked to restrict incarceration for technical probation violations during COVID-19. Early in the pandemic, the Presiding Judge of the Superior Court, Criminal Division, signed an order releasing all inmates sentenced only on technical probation violations.
- LASD stopped accepting out-of-county arrests on LA County warrants unless the charge was for a serious or violent felony. LASD requested that the out-of-county agency that made the arrest release the person on a new citation instead of transferring them to the LA County jail.
- LASD also instituted a moratorium on accepting the transfer into its custody of additional CDCR inmates who will not be able to return to their CDCR facility after their court hearing. These cases, however, are evaluated individually so that those inmates whose appearance is essential may be accommodated.
LA County continues to engage in a robust alternatives to incarceration process, moving quickly toward profound changes in the local criminal justice system. Once the pandemic subsides, however, there are legal obstacles to the reduction of the jail population that can be fixed only by the California Legislature. For example, LA County does not have the discretion to release a pre‑trial inmate because a judge has set bail conditions that the defendant has not yet met. Modifying statutes to permanently reduce or eliminate the amount of bail would result over time in a smaller jail population. Senator Robert Hertzberg and Assembly member Rob Bonta have already begun this process in the 2021-2022 Legislative Session by introducing Senate Bill 262 and Assembly Bill 329 (seeking to set bail at $0 for all but excepted offenses).
LA County Responses to Auditor Recommendations in Chapter One
State Auditor Recommendation 1: The Legislature should amend State law to limit the time inmates can spend in County jail to terms of no more than three years. In the event that a sentence is exceeds those three years, the person should serve the sentence in State prison.
LA County Response: LA County agrees with this recommendation.
State Auditor Recommendation 2: To comply with state jail capacity standards, LA County should take steps to address overcrowding in its jails, while ensuring public safety.
LA County's Response: LA County is a "care first, jails last" County. LA County has reduced its jail population by more than ten percent over the course of the past year, and is engaged in an ongoing, robust collaboration with its justice partners, including the Superior Court, the LASD, the Probation Department, the Public Defender, the Alternate Public Defender, and the District Attorney, in a coordinated effort to further reduce its jail population to the greatest extent possible. Despite these efforts, ultimately, the courts have most of the authority to release inmates early. While LA County recognizes the State did not recommend the building of more jails, it was listed as an option that is not a viable solution in LA County.
LA County's Interpretation of and Use of Realignment Funding is Consistent with Best Practices
The characterization by the State Auditor that LA County has adopted a "narrow" interpretation of what constitutes realignment funding ignores the ten-year history of realignment, throughout which nearly every county in the State has interpreted the realignment laws consistent with the approach used in LA County. Such uniformity strongly suggests the State Auditor's view is too broad, rather than the counties' as too narrow. The State also appeared to have the same interpretation as the counties given that no county was asked to amend its reports to the BSCC for failing to include the subaccounts identified by the State Auditor. Further, it appears the Audit seems to incorrectly refer to prison realignment and the overall 2011 public safety realignment as the same legal and financial concepts when they are different.
The Audit does not cite to any provision in the realignment statutes or express legislative intent that the eight funds were improperly excluded from LA County's Partnership Committee's oversight. Instead, the Audit makes assertions that, at best, are not grounded in the actual text of the realignment laws.Neither the Government Code nor the Penal Code requires or envisions the kind of regular reporting and Partnership Committee meetings the Audit contends LA County should be performing. Further, Penal Code § 1230.1 does not require a Partnership Committee to perform either a budgetary review of the realignment funds or a spending plan. Instead, the Partnership Committee is only required to recommend, on a one-time basis, "a local plan to the county board of supervisors for the implementation of the 2011 public safety realignment," which "may include recommendations to maximize the effective investment of criminal justice resources in evidence-based correctional sanctions and programs, including, but not limited to, day reporting centers, drug courts, residential multiservice centers, mental health treatment programs, electronic and GPS monitoring programs, victim restitution programs, counseling programs, community service programs, educational programs, and work training programs." The Audit did not cite any law, regulation, legislative intent, or State guidance that clearly and convincingly supports the position that local community correction partnership committees should have oversight over the eight funds at issue. By contrast, California law, principally the County Budget Act, is abundantly clear that county boards of supervisors have control over county budgets and spending decisions. To the County's knowledge, nearly every county throughout the State has adopted a similar approach. Such consistency on the part of the counties implementing realignment, and lack of prior guidance to the contrary from the State, strongly indicates LA County's interpretation of the law and its exclusion of the eight funds was appropriate. The State Auditor points to subsequent legislation creating two additional accounts, which was an opportunity for the Legislature to clearly direct Partnership Committees to oversee these accounts, or at least express legislative intent to that effect, but the Legislature did no such thing.
LA County has complied with the realignment statutes by creating and funding accounts to provide the necessary and required services intended by the Legislature. The State Auditor implicitly acknowledges this fact, as it recommends the Legislature "clarify" its intent by explicitly directing counties to have their Partnership Committees review and submit recommendations to their boards of supervisors for all ten accounts.
LA County Manages Public Safety Realignment Funds Effectively
LA County fully supports the goals of providing transparency and accountability over how public funds are spent. To that end, LA County will strongly consider any legislative proposal to promote those goals. However, LA County objects to the Audit's suggestion that the public should have anything less than full faith that LA County has spent public safety realignment funds effectively. LA County is transparent and fully complies with the realignment statutes the State Budget Act, and best budgeting practices.
The State Auditor appears to either misunderstand or underestimate the transparent and holistic nature of LA County's budget process. For example, the Audit states that "… [Los Angeles’s] general budgeting process does not focus on how to spend funds for each public safety realignment account and instead budgets those funds as part of a larger pool of funds that departments may spend at their own discretion. As a result, county departments have significant control over how to spend public safety realignment funds."
Every dollar of County funds is appropriated to departments through the budget process, which is a multi-stage process that includes opportunities for community engagement and public input, public hearings, and ultimately, control by the Board. In addition, periodic reports are provided to the Board on the status of realignment spending, and those reports are a matter of public record and posted on LA County's public-facing website. Community advocates frequently comment on the content of those reports, demonstrating they are an effective tool of information exchange.
County departments have limited discretion over how funds are spent, and only exercise that discretion after the Board decides what department programs receive funding, at what amount, and even then, those departments are subject to the Board's spending policies and goals—and department heads are ultimately accountable to the Board and/or the public. The budget process is truly holistic—the CEO consults with every department, not just those that participate in the Partnership Committee, before compiling all departments' budget requests together into a recommended budget that balances all the competing priorities and needs with what funding sources are available. The Board considers this recommended budget at a public hearing with opportunity for public review and comment. Individual departments and programs are not considered in a vacuum. By evaluating all departments and programs together, synergies and efficiencies are maximized and inefficiencies eliminated.
This process is transparent and consistent with the County Budget Act and Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) best practices. The budget process moves through on a one-year cycle, with a multi-year forecast used to assist with long-term planning. Budgeting beyond a single year may prove difficult because funding for realignment is sales-tax based, and may fluctuate significantly.
Notably, the State Auditor found no evidence that funds have been spent inappropriately.
LA County Regularly Evaluates the Effectiveness of Its Realignment Programs
LA County has conducted at least one audit of its Realignment Programs. By way of example, beginning in Fiscal Year (FY) 2013-14, LA County's Chief Executive Office (CEO), working with LA County's Auditor Controller (A-C), developed an AB 109 fiscal audit schedule. Additionally, in FY 2013-14, CEO, working with the Countywide Criminal Justice Coordination Committee (CCJCC), set aside funding and initiated a Request for Statement of Qualification (RFSQ) to ensure an independent and objective evaluation of AB 109 programs. This effort later transitioned to LA County's Chief Information Officer (CIO) and resulted in the Phase I Evaluation Study for AB 109 probationers.
LA County Responses to Auditor Recommendations in Chapter Two
State Auditor Recommendation 1: Unless the Legislature clarifies intent otherwise, the partnership committee should review and make budget recommendations for all realignment accounts, including accounts that fund non-law enforcement departments and community-based organizations
LA County Response: LA County does not agree with the State Auditor's legal interpretation of realignment laws or its representations that LA County does not provide transparent spending recommendations for realignment funding. LA County has multiple methods to ensure it transparently reports the budgeting and use of realignment funds. In fact, LA County has gone beyond the requirements of the realignment laws to bolster the advisory capacity of the partnership committee. LA County is supportive of the Audit recommendation that the Legislature clarify this issue if the counties should be performing the work recommended by the Audit.
The primary purpose specified in Penal Code section 1230.1 for the Community Corrections Partnership (CCP) committee was to recommend a local plan to the Board for implementation of 2011 public safety realignment. Following the plan’s acceptance by the Board, LA County recognized that continued coordination is critical to the successful implementation of the AB 109 realignment plan even when the law did not require it. As such, in 2011, the Board directed that the implementation of the plan be coordinated through the LA County Public Safety Realignment Team (PSRT) of the County's Countywide Criminal Justice Coordination Committee. The PSRT was created by the Board in February 2011 to report and advise the Board on public safety realignment matters. To ensure continuity with implementation planning, the PSRT membership, voting membership, chair, and work group structure was modified to mirror that of the CCP. The PSRT does not oversee the use of any funds. The PSRT is an operational planning/advisory body that addresses operational coordination of realignment – not funding allocation or oversight. The funding allocation and oversight is provided through the CEO's budget process described above.
The Board continues to use the PSRT to provide operational guidance on the realignment plan and continues to make the necessary changes so that the PSRT reflects the overall goals of LA County. For instance, in December 2020, the Board approved a motion to update and expand the membership structure of the PSRT to include the newly created agencies the Board deemed as critical to its mission of "care first, jails last." The membership of the PSRT was to be expanded from 7 members to 25 and they were directed to update the AB 109 implementation plan to reflect the new priorities of the Board. The newly added members include representatives from the County's Office of Diversion and Reentry, the ATI, and the Anti-Racism, Diversity, and Inclusion Initiative. Additionally, in February 2021, the Board approved another motion granting all 25 members, which includes at least five community representatives, voting rights. The Board continues to learn and evolve its approach to criminal justice reform, with a focus on how best to reduce the jail population and provide critical services to our most vulnerable criminally-involved populations. The PSRT and its members continue to be consistently engaged with the community and community organizations that provide much needed services to not only the AB 109 participants, but also the justice-involved population as a whole.
To date, the PSRT has submitted nine reports to the Board of State and Community Corrections (BSCC). The most recent report was in December 2020, and the BSCC was informed that LA County was in the process of updating its plan in accordance with the new Board policies around criminal-justice reform. LA County has not received any negative feedback on the formation of the PSRT and that the BSCC has not communicated that the CCP should be reconstituted.
State Auditor Recommendation 2: Eliminate current surpluses in realignment accounts and prevent future surpluses.
LA County Response: LA County is mindful of the available balance and will continue to work with the Board in future budget phases to budget these funds for AB 109 eligible programs.
However, to the extent there are any surpluses, any such surpluses can only be spent on the programs/uses allowed by state law. Beginning in FY 2015-16, Government Code section 30029.07 required each county treasurer to deposit 10% of one-time growth funds received that fiscal year into the Local Innovation Subaccount. These funds may be spent at the discretion of the Board as long as they are spent in a manner consistent with the other Law Enforcement Services subaccounts.
For accounts that receive an ongoing State allocation (for example, the Community Corrections Subaccount), LA County strives to maintain a reserve of two months of operating expenses in accordance with GFOA best practices. However, the Local Innovation Subaccount is funded with a set-aside of one-time growth dollars, which fluctuates based on the health of the economy. In FY 2019-20, counties were not allocated one-time growth funds or Local Innovation Subaccount funds. As LA County’s Local Innovation Fund allocation is funded with non-guaranteed one-time funds that are spent on one-time programs, there is no reserve policy that governs the Local Innovation Subaccount.
State Auditor Recommendation 3: Conduct evaluations of the effectiveness of its programs and services at least every three years.
LA County Response: LA County agrees with this recommendation with the understanding that it already reviews the effectiveness of its programs and services periodically through the PSRT and Budget Act process. LA County has also invested in data infrastructure needs to support ongoing outcome-measurement efforts.
State Auditor Recommendation 4: Report all law enforcement and non-law enforcement expenditures funded through the accounts that constitute public safety realignment to the Corrections Board.
LA County Response: LA County will take this recommendation under advisement assuming there is a need for more detailed reporting as required by the Legislature. However, LA County notes the distinction between “prison realignment” versus public safety realignment and it is worth noting that the non-law enforcement, non-prison realignment expenditures are different from funds referenced by the State Auditor in its Audit.
In sum, while there are areas where LA County supports the State Auditor’s recommendation, LA County does not agree with the Audit's suggestion that LA County has not done enough to reduce overpopulation in its jails, that LA County has misused or misallocated realignment funds, or that LA County has not been transparent in its use of those funds.
FESIA A. DAVENPORT
Chief Executive Officer
CALIFORNIA STATE AUDITOR’S COMMENTS ON THE RESPONSE FROM THE COUNTY OF LOS ANGELES
To provide clarity and perspective, we are commenting on Los Angeles’s response to our audit. The numbers below correspond to the numbers we have placed in the margin of its response.
We disagree with Los Angeles’s contention that its Partnership Committee is not required to review and make recommendations for all public safety realignment accounts. Further, Los Angeles inaccurately diminishes the scope of our review of realignment legislation, stating that we did not cite to any provision in the realignment statutes or express legislative intent, and that our assertions are not grounded in the text of realignment legislation. Contrary to Los Angeles’s assertions, as we state here, the California Constitution defines realignment legislation as legislation enacted on or before September 30, 2012, related to implementing the state budget plan and assigning responsibilities for public safety services to local agencies. That same constitutional provision, in addition to contemporaneous realignment legislation, which we reference in the footnote here, defined “public safety services” to include various social services, such as preventing child abuse, servicing at‑risk children, providing adoption services, providing mental health services, and providing recovery services for substance abuse. As we describe here, several bills enacted as part of the realignment legislation required the State to appropriate realignment funds to counties in 10 different accounts for a variety of public safety purposes.
State law relied upon a framework in each county that established a Partnership Committee, which is an advisory body that focuses on implementing realignment and oversees county efforts to assist felony inmates and probationers to rehabilitate and reenter the community. State law specified that the county Partnership Committees recommend plans to implement public safety realignment and may include recommendations to maximize the effectiveness of resources in programs such as those related to drug courts, mental health treatment, counseling, education, and work training. Nothing we reviewed in state law or legislative history suggests that the public safety realignment plans prepared by Partnership Committees were limited to certain public safety activities. To further support our conclusion, state law requires the Partnership Committees to include representatives from each of the services funded by the public safety accounts, including representatives from law enforcement, social services, mental health, employment, treatment programs, and community‑based organizations, as we describe here. Los Angeles refers to a common interpretation given to relevant statutes following the enactment of the realignment legislation. However, notwithstanding any county’s view of the law, an erroneous administrative construction does not govern the interpretation of a statute, and public officials are compelled to obey the law. Given the plain meaning of the relevant statutes, we stand by our conclusion that Los Angeles’s interpretation of public safety realignment funding is overly narrow and that its Partnership Committee should oversee all public safety realignment accounts.
Further, contrary to Los Angeles’s assertion that prison realignment can be distinguished from the 2011 public safety realignment, as indicated in the above‑mentioned constitutional provision, the implementation of the realignment legislation required the enactment of a series of bills. As a result, the successful transfer of certain inmates from state prison to county jail was inextricably tied to the funding mechanism and public safety programs implemented by this legislation. For that reason, we believe that the realignment legislation should be regarded as a single interrelated program. Thus, we stand by the conclusion contained in our report that Los Angeles’s interpretation of the scope of public safety realignment is overly narrow.
During the period in which Los Angeles reviewed our draft report, we brought to the county’s attention that we made a revision in our report text to clarify the issue regarding its budget process that it describes in the response. Specifically, we clarified here that although the county could not demonstrate that it delineates all of its public safety realignment funds separately in its budget process, its process for reimbursing departments for public safety realignment expenditures ensures that they spend these funds for public safety purposes. However, we disagree with the county’s assertion that its budget process for public safety realignment funds is holistic and maximizes efficiencies. As we state here, at the outset of realignment, state law required each county to oversee all 10 public safety realignment accounts and mental health funding. The law presently authorizes the Partnership Committee to make recommendations to the county regarding its implementation of public safety realignment. As we describe here, the county’s Partnership Committee does not oversee or make budget recommendations for all public safety realignment funds, creating a gap in oversight of public safety realignment, which inhibits the Partnership Committee’s ability to comprehensively view its realignment efforts to maximize efficiencies. Nor do we agree with the county’s assertion that it is transparent regarding the use of public safety realignment funds. Specifically, as we discuss here, Los Angeles’s Partnership Committee also does not report the majority of its public safety realignment funds to the Corrections Board, which limits its transparency to the Corrections Board, the Legislature, and other interested stakeholders about how it uses these funds. Therefore, we stand by our conclusion that the Partnership Committee is unable to ensure that the county spends all public safety realignment funding effectively and that its transparency is limited.
Los Angeles has misconstrued our report’s conclusions and makes inferences about it that are not accurate. Nowhere in our report do we infer a specific “mindset towards the criminal justice system” in Los Angeles County nor do we state that the county has misused or misallocated realignment funds. On the contrary, we state here that in a limited review of a selection of expenditures, we did not find any instances of inappropriate spending.
We commend Los Angeles in its recent efforts to reduce overcrowding in its jails. However, to clarify, the efforts the county describes in its response occurred in its response to the COVID‑19 pandemic, which was subsequent to our review of overcrowding. We look forward to reviewing the county’s ongoing efforts to address overcrowding in its jails after the COVID‑19 pandemic has subsided as part of our regular follow‑up process.
Although Los Angeles claims that there are legal obstacles to the reduction of its jail population that can only be fixed by the Legislature, it also describes the significant efforts it made to release inmates without Legislative intervention as a response to the COVID‑19 pandemic. Further, as we state here, along with appealing to the courts for authorization to release inmates early to relieve overcrowding, there are other actions that counties can consider to reduce their jail populations further to comply with state standards. These actions include enhancing their efforts to reduce recidivism; expanding their use of alternative custody programs, such as house arrest or work release programs; or building additional jail facilities to address their housing needs.
The State provides a portion of the realignment funding for jail construction and operation as we note here. As such, Los Angeles could use these funds to expand its jail facilities to address its ongoing capacity issues. Notwithstanding this option, we recommended only that the county take steps to address overcrowding in its jails. We defer to Los Angeles to determine the best method to do so for its county.
Los Angeles has misconstrued our recommendation to the Legislature. We do not recommend that the Legislature clarify its intent. Rather, as stated here, we recommended that the Legislature amend state law to clearly identify the specific accounts in the Local Revenue Fund 2011 it requires county Partnership Committees to oversee to ensure that the counties are aware of their oversight responsibilities. We make this recommendation because all three of the counties that we audited have taken actions that we find inconsistent with the plain and unambiguous language of the statutes in question.
Without conducting an evaluation of the effectiveness of all programs and services the county supports with all public safety realignment funding, we question how the county has assurance that these programs and services are an effective use of these funds. As we state here, the county has only recently completed its first evaluation of certain services and programs it funds using the Community Corrections account. The county’s evaluation did not include an assessment of services and programs it supports with all public safety realignment funds. Therefore, we recommended that the county conduct evaluations of all programs and services it supports using public safety realignment funds.
Our audit report identifies several areas where Los Angeles does not follow best practices set forth by the GFOA. As we discuss here, the GFOA indicates a good budget process incorporates a long‑term perspective. However, as we state here, Los Angeles does not conduct long‑term planning for public safety services. Additionally, although Los Angeles asserts that it strives to maintain a reserve of two months of operating expenses in accordance with GFOA best practices, the county has significant surpluses in most of its public safety realignment accounts as we identify in Table 3. Without a long‑term planning perspective, the county has no justification in holding the significant surpluses. Further, based on our review of funding variances from year to year, the county’s reserve should not exceed 25 percent from the previous year’s revenue.
As we describe in the Introduction, the Los Angeles County Public Safety Realignment Team (PSRT) carries the same responsibilities as other counties’ Partnership Committees and we refer to it as the county’s Partnership Committee in our report. A plain definition of oversight is to review and monitor policies, plans, programs, and projects to ensure that they are achieving expected results; they are cost‑effective; and they comply with applicable laws, rules, and regulations. Because the PSRT acts as an advisory and oversight body to the county, by definition, we expected that it would oversee and make recommendations for all public safety realignment funds and activities.
Nowhere in our report do we indicate that Los Angeles should use its surpluses for purposes that are contrary to the restrictions set in place in state law. However, as shown in Table 3, the county has significant surpluses in most of its public safety realignment accounts and, as we discuss here, Los Angeles needs to plan further into the future for how it will spend these surpluses on allowable public safety realignment activities, such as anti‑recidivism programs or expanding its jail capacity.
We disagree with the county’s assertions that the funding it allocated into the Local Innovation Fund is one‑time funding. In fact, as we state here, the State has provided this funding consistently for the past seven years. Without a plan for how it will use this surplus, Los Angeles has no justification for holding this funding.
Los Angeles’s contention that the Legislature needs to specify additional reporting requirements is incorrect. As we state here and here, state law already requires the Corrections Board to report information from each county to the Governor and the Legislature related to the county’s implementation of realignment, and for counties to provide the information to the Corrections Board.