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Grand jury to focus on prisoners, water agency

Modified: Monday, Jun 24th, 2013

SANTA CRUZ — The Santa Cruz County Grand Jury today will release its 2012-2013 report, which largely focuses on how a two-year-old state law that shifted thousands of low-risk inmates from prisons to county jails has affected the county.

AB 109, otherwise known as prison realignment, was Gov. Jerry Brown’s plan to reduce the state’s overburdened prison system by moving approximately 30,000 low-risk inmates to county jails and to outpatient treatment and rehabilitation programs in their home counties.

Law enforcement officials say that the plan has led to dangerous felons being released from prison, while some point to an increase in crime reports since its implementation.

Brown has defied orders to release many inmates and said he plans to appeal orders by a three-judge panel, which ruled Thursday that Brown must release almost 10,000 inmates by the end of 2013.

The grand jury’s reports on the law are titled, “AB 109 — A Year in Review,” and “Breaking the Circle of Dependence: AB 109 from a Health & Human Services Perspective.”

The grand jury also investigated Pajaro Valley Water Management Association with a report titled, “Pajaro Valley Water Management Agency: Directors Needing Direction.”

PVWMA General Manager Mary Bannister declined to comment Monday, as those involved with grand jury investigations are not allowed to discuss them until they are officially released.

The water agency has faced its share of controversy in the past. The San Jose-based 6th District Court of Appeal in 2012 dismissed a lawsuit brought against it by John G. Eiskamp.

For the complete article see the 06-25-2013 issue.

Click here to purchase an electronic version of the 06-25-2013 paper.

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