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2 probation officers added to SCV Sheriff’s Station

New personnel to target probationers released under realignment

Posted: March 7, 2013 5:18 p.m.
Updated: March 7, 2013 5:18 p.m.

Two county probation officers have joined the ranks of local sheriff’s deputies to help deal with criminals released into the community as part of the state’s realignment program.

Thursday marked the first day on the job for the two assigned to the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station, Capt. Paul Becker said.

One of the probation officers will work with in the station’s Crime Prevention Unit and the other with detectives investigating crimes, Becker said.

In October, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted to approve hiring about a dozen key probation officers, including two designated to work in the Santa Clarita Valley.

Supervisors made the decision based on a one-year update they received on the process of sending state prisoners to county jails.

That “realignment” process assigns so-called “non-non-nons” — inmates whose crimes are deemed non-violent, non-serious and non-sexual in nature — from state prisons to county jails. Probationers who would have been supervised by state officers now fall under county supervision.

The transfer was authorized through Assembly Bill 109 after the Supreme Court ordered California to reduce its prison population.

“We know that we have a 34 percent recidivism rate with our AB 109s,” Becker said, referring to inmates transferred under realignment, “and those are just the guys we’re catching.”

“The problem, and the reason we asked for (the probation officers), was we don’t know what impact necessarily these guys are having on our theft and our burglary rates,” he said.

“The problem is, we didn’t have the staff to deeply analyze that.”

Jerry E. Powers, chief probation officer for Los Angeles County, who called Santa Clarita one of the fastest-growing communities in the county, has said the added personnel would provide civic leaders and Becker with greater access to the Probation Department.

Since October 2011, when the state began transferring many of its prisoners to county jails and probationers to county supervision, county supervisors began re-examining resources and looking for ways to better spend money allotted for county jails.
on Twitter @jamesarthurholt




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