Friday, June 12, 2009

Alameda County to Cut Cops and Prosecutors

By Robert Gammon
Fri, Jun 12, 2009 at 7:13 AM

The Alameda County Board of Supervisors is seriously considering cutting 100 positions from the Sheriff's Office as part of sweeping cuts that will eliminate 285 full-time positions countywide. According to the Trib, the county's criminal justice program, including the Sheriff's Office, is taking the brunt of the hits. As a result, the cuts will surely affect Oakland and other East Bay cities with crime problems. The county plans to eliminate 14 attorney positions in the District Attorney's Office and 15 in the Public Defender's Office, putting further pressure on the county's ability to prosecute and defend suspected criminals. The cuts surely will bog down the already crowded court system, and likely will force prosecutors to limit prosecutions.

In addition, the county plans to eliminate 49 positions from the Probation Department, which means that convicted criminals on probation will have much less supervision, thereby increasing the likelihood of recidivism. Let's hope that both the district attorney and the probation folks prioritize their resources well. Suggestion — cut back on minor drug crime prosecutions and relax supervision of those convicted of minor drug offenses.

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