An appeal rejected in Washington, D.C. means more criminals could soon be back on California streets.
The Unites States Supreme Court rejected the state's appeal of a lower-court order requiring a reduction of the prison population by an added 9,600 inmates to improve conditions in those prisons.
The ruling will likely force the release of thousands of inmates prior to them finishing their sentences.
The justices did not comment on the decision, but Governor Jerry Brown has. He argues that the goal cannot be met without releasing dangerous felons and jeopardizing public safety.
The Supreme Court decision is trickling down to every county. Shasta County Sheriff Tom Bosenko said his office faces numerous difficult tasks when it comes to facing the revolving door of inmates.
"There could be additional pressures if there are actual releases from state prison,” said Bosenko. “In addition to about the 9,600-to-10,000 people, it does not take into account the amount of people that are still coming into the prison system, which there may need to be additional releases for those individuals, as well."
Sheriff Bosenko said there are plans to look at contracting with out-of-state locations for space, as well as private prisons and other county jails. He said the current focus is to make sure legislators and Gov. Brown know how dramatically these releases will impact California citizens and community safety.
He told KRCR News Channel 7 that the increase in crime is already being seen.
It was historic legislation that started all of this. In 2011, Gov. Brown signed Assembly Bill 109 allowing California to better moderate low-level inmates.