Fresno Co. asking for more money for criminals

FRESNO, Calif.

Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims and County Probation Director Linda Penner asked the board of supervisors to let the state know, they need more money from the state to deal with crime and criminals.

Penner said, "We have a higher unemployment rate, we have a higher poverty level we have a higher crime rate we have issues that are specific to this area."

Penner, and Sheriff Margaret Mims are upset because Fresno County is only getting about $12 thousand a year to deal with offenders who are being held by the county, instead of being sent to state prison. That contrasts with the more than $40 thousand per prisoner Contra Costa County is getting.

Sheriff Mims said, "This has been an ongoing issue between Southern California and the Bay Area and the Central Valley getting the short shrift when it comes to funding."

But, some urban counties are getting more money because they have already invested in treatment and rehabilitation programs that are supposed to keep offenders out of prison, but Mims says with two-thousand more criminals on her hands, she needs more money to run the jail, while treatment programs are ramped up.

Sheriff Mims explained, "We are getting more inmates than projected we already know what our needs are and we need the appropriate funding to handle these inmates that are coming from Sacramento."

The board unanimously approved the resolution, which is symbolic, but designed to let the legislature know the county needs help in dealing with criminals.

Penner added, "The Valley has to be vocal and this resolution sends a message."

Several other Valley counties are sending the same message, saying the state's realignment funds are being handed out fairly.

Valley legislators are getting the message and are introducing bills aimed at easing the situation. However, the Bay Area and Los Angeles have more political clout and will fight to keep a bigger share of the money coming their way.

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