Realignment and Regional and Placer Ranch University Projects December 2013
This month I will update you on AB 109 Realignment and two Proposed University Projects
Public Safety Realignment (AB 109)
As you may recall, in 2011, to address state prison overcrowding, the state Legislature passed AB 109, which moved low risk offenders, serving time in state prisons, to local county jails, to serve out their sentences. While reducing State prison population, realignment has put a huge logistical and financial burden on local governments. In Placer County, half of the inmates currently serving sentences in county jail are the result of Realignment and have increased the average daily inmate population considerably. The inmate population is more hardened, sophisticated and more dangerous. Housing AB 109 inmates has required the Sheriff to increase the number of correctional staff for safety reasons to ensure the jail operation runs smoothly. However, jail costs have increased beyond what is reimbursable by the state due to AB 109.
The County’s Probation Department has likewise seen an increase in their caseload; they routinely supervise more than 3,000 inmates after release, in addition to those who are given alternative sentencing (serving time on weekends and via tracking devices). To assist those recently released, on probation and Pre-release custody, Probation will be opening a Transition Center in the South Placer Justice Center. The Center will provide an easy to find location for offenders to receive services, counseling and report to their supervisors all in one location. Probation is stepping up to meet the challenges posed by Realignment, but meeting the challenges comes with increased costs.
Along with law enforcement and probation, County Health and Human Services, also a member of the County Community Corrections Partnership (CCP) which implements AB 109, will hire more staff to provide additional assessments, offer additional programs at the Transition Center, increase treatment coordination, and increase traditional housing and treatment capacity throughout the county. The evidence shows a direct correlation between the completion of treatment programs by offenders and their successful assimilation back into society. Placer County will continue to work hard to keep staff and inmates safe and provide the inmates with the resources they need to stay out of jail. This is the best model we have for ensuring the public’s safety.
Regional and Placer Ranch University Projects
In November, a Placer County contingent traveled to Great Britain to meet with officials from the University of Warwick in Coventry, UK, to discuss opening a university in the unincorporated area west of Roseville. I personally met with the University advance team and toured the location of the university site with them, which is near the end of the recently extended Pleasant Grove Drive in the West Park development. I found the advance team to be very interested in our community, impressed with our quality of life and the opportunity the region can provide in both students and providing after graduation employment.
In October, developer West Park Communities acquired the 2,200-acre Placer Ranch property located north of Roseville and west of Rocklin in unincorporated Placer County. California State University, Sacramento, is interested in developing a 300 acre satellite campus on the mixed-use property, which would also include offices, retail, residential and industrial uses. In November I was able to meet with West Park Representatives and Sacramento State President, Alex Gonzalez, to discuss the satellite project and tour facility improvements at the Sacramento university location. As a CSU-Sacramento alum, I was impressed with the improvements made since I graduated in 1998 and am excited about the prospect of assisting to bring a CSU satellite campus to our area.
As a lifelong learner and parent to a recent Woodcreek high school graduate and Woodcreek high school sophomore, I am overjoyed at the prospect of assisting constituents to bring two universities to Placer County. While there are many details that will need to be worked out for either university to become a reality, I believe that with great planning and cooperation between local jurisdictions, both projects can be built and complement one another. Bringing additional higher education to Placer County will benefit not only our county, in employment, business development and increased property values, but will provide additional educational opportunities to the region as well.
Thank you again for the opportunity to serve you. If you have a comment, question or concern on any issue, please call my office at 916-787-8950, or send me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.