Early jail releases surge in Calif. after prison realignment


By Paige St. John, Los Angeles Times

Jesus Ysasaga had been arrested multiple times and ordered by the court to keep away from his ex-girlfriend. Two parole boards sentenced him to nearly a year in jail for stalking, drunkenness and battery.

But the Fresno County jail would not keep him.

Four times in the summer of 2012, authorities let Ysasaga go, refusing two times to even book him. The jail had no room.

Ysasaga’s attorney, Jerry Lowe, said the parade of convicted offenders being turned away from the jail was common. “It became quite a joke,” he said.

Across California, more than 13,500 inmates are being released early each month to relieve crowding in local jails — a 34 percent increase over the last three years. A Times investigation shows a significant shift in who is being let out of jail, how early and where.

The releases spring from an effort begun in 2011 to divert low-level offenders from crowded state prisons to local jails. The move had a cascade effect, forcing local authorities to release their least dangerous inmates to make room for more serious offenders.

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Comments (15)
  1. copper says - Posted: August 25, 2014

    None of this would be necessary were it not for the politicization of prison terms and release guidelines.

    As voters we’ve approved, or elected folks with agendas that require them to pursue maximal sentences on minimal offenders. And they pretend to protect their constituents from evil by removing virtually everyone who commits a crime, however ludicrous the situation, to prison.

    I’m sorry for the folks working in the criminal justice system, from investigators to judges, who have to accommodate an hysterical and judgmental public. But jail and prison overcrowding, and its related expense to the public, both financial and cultural, is probably the best example of what happens when a democracy is overwhelmed and taken over by the craziest among us.

    Not meaning any offense to anyone on the Lake Tahoe News forum.

  2. Justice says - Posted: August 25, 2014

    All of this is on Moonbeam’s shoulders. No new prisons in five years, early releasing tens of thousands of felons who return to their old ways and who are unemployable. Along with naïve voters gutting the three strikes law and now lifers are being released. The several federal court orders to build more room or release felons is also involved. This state has hordes of early release felons all over and a number of people have been murdered so far due to it. Why do people think gun sales continue to be at record highs? Many are from new women buyers. Moonbeam’s let them all out plan is as much of a disaster as is his refusal to enforce federal immigration laws and many don’t know that close to 1/3 of all inmates are illegally in the country and are arrested for other serious crimes. This also is in violation of his oath of office. Yet Moonbeam is seen by good liberals just like his idol, the Bummer and his gang of lawless fools as no matter how they endanger the state and country it doesn’t seem to matter to them, only that they are good soft on crime leftists is important.

  3. Toxic Warrior says - Posted: August 25, 2014

    This GREAT NEWS !! TRPA can hire some of these individuals as their consultants and PR staff !

  4. Biggerpicture says - Posted: August 25, 2014

    We spend roughly $45,000 per year for incarceration of an inmate in California.

    Since the 70’s the prison population in California has grown 750%.

    Think about that. Have we had a 750% increase in crime since then, or have we gone overboard with sentencing?

    PS Justice, the whole “moonbeam” epitaph is just plain silly. Governor Brown just recently proved that Republican lawmakers in California are NOWHERE near as fiscally responsible as he is! (proposing a 7 billion dollar water bond as opposed to the Republicans 11 billion dollar debacle)

  5. tahoe Pizza Eater says - Posted: August 26, 2014

    I think Copper’s comments above provide us with a good explanation of what’s happening. But I want to explain what Copper means by “politization of prison terms”.

    We have politicians making law in the state assembly. Their goal is to get re-elected. When the public expresses hate for some crimes, the sentences for being convicted of those crimes are increased to unreasonable terms of incarceration. The motive behind this process is for the politicians to make their voters happy that their representative in Sacramento is tough on those terrible criminals. Specifically there are crimes of sexual nature where the victim is not physically injured. Any person convicted of such a crime may get years in prison.

    We had an example here two weeks ago where a man was accused of sending obscene messages to a teenager using email. The bail amount imposed was one million dollars. My point is that this process is political. He has no chance of posting that bail amount. Now, let’s all go read again the 8th amendment.

  6. Justice says - Posted: August 26, 2014

    What is shocking is the article states 13k early release felons per month with little chance of ever finding employment what are they thinking? This leads to more welfare so the cost savings are a myth.
    The illegals are not deported which is a violation of federal law. This is where the rule of law is violated. Not building new prisons, flooding county jails with state inmates, this is on purpose. People don’t understand what danger this is if not affected personally. Moonbeam was laughed out of office before for his soft on crime lunacy and his Rose Bird Supreme Court that reversed a number of clear murder cases. Did anyone think he would change? He is dangerous to everyone’s personal safety and gun sales are an indication of it.

  7. Justice says - Posted: August 26, 2014

    Ironic that Moonbeam and El Presidente of Mexico are at the state Capital today after Moonbeam was just in Mexico. Just a coincidence? The truth is a deliberate attempt to not enforce US immigration laws while not securing the border or using the state Guard and helping illegals to obtain welfare and become registered Dems and, all the while, a US Marine is still being held without bail in a Mex Prison for not making a U-turn when he should have. Talk about outrageous. Brown should be Recalled for this.

  8. Biggerpicture says - Posted: August 26, 2014

    Justice, once again you omit facts. That “US marine” you speak of is now actually a reservist after serving 2 stints in Afghanistan active duty. AND when he supposedly missed a u-turn be had in his possession three loaded guns. And he was not there in any official capacity.

    So your point is?

  9. Justice says - Posted: August 26, 2014

    The point is to compare the treatment of citizens, there should be at the minimum economic sanctions against Mexico if not more for holding a US citizen without bail who made a wrong turn, adding that he is a US Marine makes it that much more of an issue while here people illegally in the country are released on a promise to appear court date they fail to appear at without much concern, all on Bummer’s orders. We, the tax payers, shouldn’t be entertaining corrupt leaders of corrupt countries at any time. He had guns? Yes, legally purchased and owned firearms for a US citizen are not a crime. Mexico outlaws guns so that only the Govt. and criminals and cartels have them. S. America is full of corrupt countries that are overrun with criminals and corruption. This country isn’t far behind these days.

  10. Biggerpicture says - Posted: August 26, 2014

    So your argument is that he broke a law of Mexico but shouldn’t be in jail there because possession of those firearms was legal in the US?

    I really hope you actually have nothing to do with ANY real justice system!

  11. go figure says - Posted: August 26, 2014

    The circle jerk continues….

  12. reloman says - Posted: August 26, 2014

    years ago, there used to be a law that convicted illegal felons were automaticly deported when they were released? My question is has that law been over ruled, taken off the books or just not enforced? I have no idea which of the three has been done.

  13. Grape Escape says - Posted: August 26, 2014

    Ask Gov.Eyebrows Moonbutt. He says all are welcome here, legal and illegals.

  14. Dante Soldavini says - Posted: September 7, 2014

    I think that we should stop putting criminals in prison for minors reasons and just focus on the main ones. we need to take advantage of the room we have and if we dont decrease prison size we need to expand and build more prisons across the U.S.