One state judge is fed up with what is going on with the local jail where he sends prisoners to serve their sentences. The judge has been sentencing defendants to specific amounts of time to be served in the local county jail. However, the jail is releasing the defendants soon after they enter the jail and well before they complete their imposed jail sentence.
The overcrowding situation in Southern California jails has been brought into a negative light in recent weeks thanks in large part to the Lindsay Lohan saga, and the fact that she served a mere hours of a 30 day sentence. Paris Hilton is another celebrity that was out of jail faster than law enforcement could process her.
The argument that can be made by the judge is that if the sentences the court imposes are not in fact carried out then the judicial system will breakdown. Those thinking of committing crimes will learn that if they commit a crime and are caught, the sentence the judge imposes for their crime will not be imposed. This may encourage more criminal activity since the fear of a lengthy jail sentence will be gone.
On the other hand the local jail officials are saying that they are mandated by a federal court order to not permit their jail to become overcrowded. When the inmate population reaches the maximum number allowed by the federal court order they must make a decision to release some inmates. They state that they often will release those inmates who are in custody for the least serious offenses. However, a major argument can be made that the decision as to who should be released from the jail should NOT be made by jail officials but rather by the judges who impose the sentences.
The bottom line behind this argument is a lack of adequate funding to employ enough jail personnel to insure the safety of those that are in custody.
The outcome of this lawsuit will be watched closely by every person who is concerned about our criminal justice system.
How can it be fair that a person sentenced in Orange County to one year in jail will serve six months prior to release. A person in Los Angeles County who commits the exact same offense and receives the same one year jail sentence will likely do only a few days in custody before he or she is released due to overcrowding. A defendant in Fresno with a similar sentence may serve sixty days and be released. California has always prided itself on the concept of “equal justice for all”. It seems that equal justice for all now seems to be depend upon where a person chooses to commit a crime.
Luckily, while all of this craziness is playing out Wallin and Klarich, a criminal defense law firm with over thirty years of experience is on top of the latest developments and knows the very best way to defend you if you find yourself accused of a crime in any county in Southern California. The new sentencing laws are complicated and before you make the mistake of pleading guilty to any offense you should contact our law firm for a free telephone conversation about your case. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could figure out a way for you to avoid a lengthy jail sentence so you didn’t lose your job and your freedom. Go to wklaw.com for more information or call us toll free at 877-466-5245