Fresno & Valley News
In another sign that Fresno County is struggling to manage more criminals, the sheriff has ordered that state parole violators no longer will be held at the county jail.
The parolees, who were once sent to state prison if they got into trouble, are now sent to local jails instead – part of the state's recent realignment of the penal system. But in Fresno County, where the jail already is crowded, the Sheriff's Office has determined there's no room for the former convicts.
State parole officials, acknowledging counties are being asked to do more under the realignment, say they'll try to find other ways to deal with problem parolees.
Orders to not lock them up began Thanksgiving Day. While the jail has long been releasing inmates early because of the lack of space, the directive to turn away parolees only reinforces concerns that criminals aren't serving the time they should.
"They're out in the community and they're violating their parole, and when there's no consequence for violating, that's going to be a public safety issue," said Kelly Keenan, chief assistant district attorney for Fresno County.