Public Safety Realignment and the Rise of the Petty Criminal in Shasta County

Two men resting near the un-Safeway. Photo courtesy of crumblingtownreddingca.wordpress.com, one of several local websites that document rising crime in Redding.

Two men resting near what neighbors call the “un-Safeway”. Photo courtesy of crumblingtownreddingca.wordpress.com, one of several local websites that document rising crime in Redding.

At this late date, I think it’s fair to say Redding is a city under siege by petty criminals. Everyone knows it and the rising property crime rate shows it. It’s the talk of the town.

Gaunt phantoms stalk the streets and parks, aggressively panhandling every possible intersection and business, vandalizing and stealing from even the toniest neighborhoods, vanishing into local homeless and transient communities with impunity. When police do manage to nab a suspect, he or she is often immediately released because there’s not enough room in the jail to hold low-level offenders.

A woman sleeps on the sidewalk near the East and South street intersection one recent weekday morning. Photo by Doni Chamberlain

A woman sleeps on the sidewalk near the East and South street intersection one recent weekday morning. Photo by Doni Chamberlain

There’ve always been homeless people in Shasta County, but the level of aggression and criminality we’ve experienced during the past several years appears to be a new phenomenon. The citizenry is fed up. Even liberals are down on the down-and-out. Ask a conservative what the problem is, and you’re likely to get an answer similar to this anonymous online conversation I recently encountered:

“The supervisors here would rather get easy money by taking in AB 109 felons from other counties and states, IMHO,” says a supposedly in-the-know Shasta County resident.

“Whoa, wait, are you saying that Redding volunteers to be a sort of ‘sanctuary city’ for parolees from other cities and receives money for it?” asks an incredulous out-of-towner.

It’s a fact, according to Mr. Know-it-all.

“It’s been known by many that the city has been taking in felons for pay, and the drop off point for our new citizens is the Jack in the Box at Buenaventura Blvd., near the rescue mission, where felons are given $200 and told ‘you’re on your own.’”

Where the homeless are, according to the Public Safety Blueprint.

Where the homeless are, according to the Public Safety Blueprint.

I’ve heard at least a dozen different versions of the same theory regarding AB 109, the Public Safety Realignment Act, which was passed by the California Legislature five years ago. They all sounded plausible, until I came to understand the dramatic scope of the AB 109. Stanford Law School professor Joan Petersila, who has done extensive research on the legislation, calls it “a prison downsizing experiment of historic significance.”

“Experiment” is a word used often in the Stanford Law School’s research on AB 109. For a great primer on the topic, the school’s 2013 study, co-authored by Petersila, “Follow the Money: How California Counties Are Spending Their Public Safety Realignment Funds,” is highly recommended.

AB 109 was the inevitable response to voter-supported anti-crime initiatives in the 1990s such as the Three Strikes law, which dramatically reduced the crime rate but filled the state’s prison system to more than double its capacity, forcing the federal government to step in and mandate reductions in the prison population to relieve inhumane conditions.

In order to reduce the state’s prison population from 162,000 to 109,885, as ordered by federal court, AB 109 shifted (realigned) the responsibility for incarcerating and rehabilitating felony offenders convicted of non-serious, non-sexual and non-violent crimes from the state to California’s 58 counties. The counties also assumed supervision of non-serious, non-sexual and non-violent prison parolees; parole violators are now sent to the county jail, not back to prison.

While the state’s prison population has yet to reach the court-ordered limit, tens of thousands of “three non” felony offenders have since come under county control. That’s supposed to be a good thing.

“Theoretically, Realignment is designed to promote rehabilitation and reentry by moving offenders closer to their families and community-based services,” notes Petersila in “California Prison Downsizing and Its Impact,” published by Harvard Law & Policy Review. “Community agencies can more easily access inmates in local jails, building relationships and encouraging inmates to access their services after release. In fact, recognizing that change is best achieved at the local level and that counties are better at rehabilitating offenders than the state is one of the underlying premises of the bill.”

To fund realignment, AB 109 diverts billions of dollars from the state prison budget to the counties. Last year, about $4 billion was allocated. Shasta County received $7 million, according to the Shasta County Public Safety Realignment Plan.

Counties are required to establish their own AB 109 plans and given a wide range of discretion on how to spend funds. In “Follow the Money: How California Counties Are Spending Their Public Safety Realignment Funds,” Petersila and company broke down county budget expenditures by the percentage devoted to sheriff and law enforcement and the percentage devoted to programs and services and discovered some surprising results.

According to the study’s criteria, prior to the passage of AB 109, Shasta County fell on the political spectrum right about where most local residents would place it: a conservative county emphasizing law and order over programs and services. After AB 109 was passed, the county pulled an about-face, placing an increased emphasis on social services.

A common sight in Redding today. Photo courtesy of crumblingtownreddingca.wordpress.com.

A common sight in Redding today. Photo courtesy of crumblingtownreddingca.wordpress.com.

To briefly return to the anonymous conversation above, the Shasta County Board of Supervisors isn’t actively encouraging the state and other counties to dump criminals in Shasta County in order to get more AB 109 funding. The funding level is preset, based in part on the county’s estimated number of AB 109 felons during the 2006-2008 time period. What’s surprising is the current board, not exactly noted for liberalism, has chosen to focus funding on rehabilitation.

Gone are the days when inmates, upon release from prison, were given $200 and a bus ticket back to the county they came from. As a society, even here in conservative Shasta County, we’ve decided to help those who can be helped break the cycle of recidivism, which prior to AB 109 was a highest-in-the-nation 65 percent for state prison inmates.

AB 109 mandated that all 58 counties create Community Corrections Centers to corral the various public and private agencies involved in the experiment. The CCCs are overseen by Community Corrections Partnerships, comprised of department heads and stakeholders from the sheriff on down responsible for establishing each county’s Public Safety Realignment plan and reporting the results to the county’s supervisors.

In Shasta County the CCC is promoted as a “one-stop shop consisting of multiagency collaboration where offenders are provided with orientation related to their formal supervision requirements, assessment of their criminogenic and other needs, cognitive-behavioral therapy, and supervision in a coordinated fashion.”

“Criminogenic” needs refers to all the conditions and problems that cause individuals to become repeat offenders, from joblessness and poverty to drug and alcohol addiction to mental illness. According to the CCC, “evidence-based programming is utilized to facilitate successful reentry of offenders into the community after incarceration, and/or sentencing, in order to reduce recidivism.”

Evidence-based programming refers to the small but growing body of rehabilitation programs that have been scientifically proven to reduce recidivism. State Attorney General Kamal Harris, who’s running for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Barbara Boxer on November’s ballot, has been a champion for prison sentencing reform and has developed a three-stage evidence based program that has been proven to push recidivism rates as low as 10 percent.

According to the Stanford study, one major key to the success of such programs is the ability for judges and other law enforcement officials to issue split-sentences for felonies that require the person convicted of the crime to serve both jail time and probation. Maintaining probationary status is conditioned upon the individual attending mandated cognitive therapy, treatment for drug and/or alcohol abuse, and whatever else is deemed necessary to meet the individual’s criminogenic needs.

Shasta County has been employing a three-stage program similar to Harris’ at the CCC’s Day Reporting Center for the past three years and is seeing positive results. According to the Day Reporting Center’s annual report released last April, 39 people completed the program in 2015-16, up from 24 the year before. If I’m reading the report correctly, all 39 were successful in finding both housing and work.

The fact Shasta County helped 39 individuals break the cycle of recidivism last year may not mean much to the person whose home or business was burglarized for the sixth time last night, but it’s at least a fledgling sign that progress can be made.

How much all of this is costing remains murky. AB 109 funds were used to reopen the third floor of Shasta County Jail in 2012; last year the jail, which now houses criminals who were once sent directly to prison and is filled to capacity, received nearly $1.5 million. The probation department, linchpin in the state’s plan to reduce the prison population’s 65 percent recidivism rate, received $4.4 million.

That used up most of the $7 million allocated to the county’s realignment plan, but perusing the county’s 2014-15 budget, I found a number of other departments that apparently receive AB 109 funding but aren’t included in the plan. County mental health programs received nearly $5 million. Another $5 million was kicked in for welfare cash aid payments, including food stamps. The social services administration received $7.6 million in AB 109 funding, presumably in part to cover the costs of inmate medical and dental care.

All told, it appears Shasta County received more than $25 million in AB 109 funding last year, 6 percent of its roughly $400 million budget. If I’m wrong about this, hopefully someone more knowledgeable about the county budget can enlighten me.

As the Redding and county-commissioned Public Safety Blueprint reported last year, Shasta County law enforcement as well as the program and service providers associated with public safety realignment are collecting enormous amounts of data, but little of it has been effectively analyzed. There’s a voluminous amount of information available online, but I’ve searched to no avail for any report on the recidivism rate.

I can say that on any given day, the jail is filled to capacity with 340 or so inmates. The majority are awaiting sentencing; a minority have been sentenced to the jail. There’s up to 200 more inmates in community supervised alternative custody—in some cases, they’re wearing AB 109-funded GPS anklets. That leaves who knows how many people out there running amok. How many more do we have to lock up and attempt to rehabilitate before our sense of public safety returns to something approaching normal? 50? 100? 500?

Considering the importance given to split-sentences in successful rehabilitation, I’m inclined to agree with the Blueprint’s recommendation to increase jail space—in addition to the planned adult rehabilitation center to be built in the near future.

“This situation is problematic as bed space projections in a recent 2013 jail facilities needs assessment shows a growing jail population approaching nearly 500 beds required by 2020,” the Blueprint found. “This will exceed the present jail space and the planned new ARC if it comes to fruition.”

However, it’s by no means clear to me that Measures D and E on November’s ballot, the half-cent sales and use tax and companion advisory that would raise $11 million annually for improving public safety in Redding, are absolutely necessary, for a number of reasons.

For one, since we aren’t effectively analyzing the data we’re gathering, it’s possible that the rise of the petty criminal in Shasta County is only temporary, and will eventually alleviate as we complete prison realignment. For another, there’s an enormous amount of AB 109 funding flowing into the county, and the county supervisors are permitted to reallocate it where they see fit. Conceivably, they could alter the public safety realignment plan to put more emphasis on punishment and less on rehabilitation.

No doubt that would please many of the county’s conservative residents, who supported the “war on crime” that created prison overcrowding in the first place and on principle oppose any government handouts to the needy, particularly convicted criminals.

However, there’s an ominous flip side to our current lack of effective data analysis. Our prison downsizing experiment is just that, an experiment, on a scale not seen since the birth of the modern prison some 200 years ago. Like any experiment, it can fail, and judging from the talk of the town lately, AB 109 is indeed failing, as far as the perception of decreasing public safety is concerned.

In that case, this could be the new normal, and voting for a half-cent sales and use tax might seem like a fair price to pay for a little peace of mind, no matter how temporary the relief.

R.V. Scheide
R.V. Scheide has been a northern California journalist for more than 20 years. He appreciates your comments and story ideas.
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56 Responses

  1. Rod says:

    Very informative RV.  It appears you popped several bubbles at once.

    Who’s profiting from the encouragement of  “Feel Safe Rhetoric”?

     

    • R.V. Scheide Jr. says:

      Discovering the answer to that will require many hours of investigation. Please shop with our advertisers!

  2. Curtis Chipley says:

    Thank you for an informative, well written article.   The information you have provided, is mind boggling, the amount of money that has been spent in just Shasta County and to only have 39 people succeed in rehabilitation??? Break that down per person and it has cost the tax payers one hell of a lot of money for little return.

    What also bothers me is the information that the Supervisors can CHOOSE to spend the money as they see fit….. wow not much accountability if they can choose to do this.   The other thing is that this is an EXPERIMENT….. one that is costing the LAW ABIDING CITIZENS more than money, it is costing them their feeling of security, their personal property, their safety, it is costing us a SAFE place to live,  work and raise our children and grandchildren.

    We as citizens CANNOT afford to have an experiment like this continue, it is not fair to us.   Those who CHOOSE to break the law,  CHOOSE to get addicted to drugs, CHOOSE to intimidate and harm others, MUST pay the consequences.  We as a society can no longer allow these criminals to roam our streets without any consequence for their behavior.    Redding is at this time a lawless city that has ALLOWED the criminals to take over the city and has sat back and according to this article, collected MILLIONS of tax paying dollars with really little positive return on it.   I have been in other cities the size of Redding and larger who do NOT have the homeless, criminal type of population that Redding has.   My question has always been why is the problem not in this city and yet Redding cannot seem to control our problem?     The EXPERIMENT is failing and we need to STOP the madness and take our city back, take back the streets, take back the parking lots where these criminals troll trying to break into cars.   Take back the River Trails that the city has spent MILLIONS of dollars on only to have them taken over by the criminals,  make it safe for everyone to walk on them again.

    I am a life long Shasta County resident, who although I have lived in smaller communities in and around Redding, I have worked in the city of Redding all of my life.   I have never felt so worried, apprehensive,  and yes even frightened at times when I drive the streets of Redding.  To be honest I have felt safer in the larger cities that I have visited, than I do on the streets of Redding.   This is a very sad commentary to what was once a nice place to live, but no more, not until we can somehow fix the current situation.

    • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

      Curtis — You seem to think that keeping people in jail is cheaper than the alternatives.  It’s not.  Failure to rehabilitate—and its ugly cousin recidivism—is hella expensive.  It costs almost $65,000 per year to keep an inmate in prison in California, according to the LA Times.

      If you assume the cost of incarcerating someone in Shasta County Jail is a more modest $50k per year, then every 100 people who are rehabilitated and manage to stay out of jail for 10 years saves the county about $50 million.

      There’s a problem, though: Prisons and jails are Big Government at its biggest.  After AB 109 passed, the per-prisoner cost per year went up $15,000 over the next four years.  Why?  Because even though hoards of non-violent prisoners have been sent back to their counties of origin, there has been no concomitant reduction in state prison staff.

      • joejoe says:

        Well the county is going down the tubes because the criminals are out ruining it.  Have you received a refund for all the tax dollars being saved since we are not incarcerating people?  Have you got a big fat check from the county saying “hey we don’t need this tax money anymore”?  No you haven’t, and you wont.

        The fact is, the politicians will spend the money on one thing if not the other.  You pay for public safety or the lack thereof one way or another.  Either pay to incarcerate those who will not comply with society’s rules, or pay for not incarcerating them with a reduced quality of life.  Personally, I will take former.  Things were much nicer around here prior to 2006 when all this cut public safety garbage started.

        • R.V. Scheide Jr. says:

          Interesting that you say 2006. I moved back to Redding three years ago and I’ve heard people complaining about the issue since then, but I was wondering how far back in time the situation went.

          • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

            It’s really been about 4-5 years, with the problem growing each year.  We moved into town from Palo Cedro seven years ago, and at that time the “bottom feeder” problem was pretty much a non-issue.  Now, it’s one of the reasons why we’re moving back to our place in PC.  Two vehicle break-ins this year.

    • R.V. Scheide Jr. says:

      While I considered computing the recidivism rate as you have, I didn’t because I don’t think it’s the correct method. The Day Care Center has been in operation for three years, and the number of inmates completing the III phases may be small now, but it has gone steadily up. We would need to look at the number of people who’ve been sentence to the jail on a non-n0n-non charge, completed their probation and successfully reintegrated, over a period of time. Complicating matters is Prop 47, which means some non-non-non offenders who would have been charged with felonies are now charged with a misdemeanor, so aren’t counted as AB 109ers. Because a non-n0n-non can still be a serious felony offense, usually involving drugs and drug-related crime in this county, AB 109ers go to jail, Prop 47s run amok. I realize the dollar amounts in the budget are pretty mind boggling, but the truth could be we’re not spending enough on the experiment. It’s very, very difficult to say, as the Public Safety Blueprint pointed out.

    • K, Beck says:

      Well, we all live here. I am not as scared as you, I guess.

      Anyway, what is your solution? I keep hearing all the complaints, never a mention of what you, and others  who contribute to the complaints, think might be a solution. We already tried locking everyone up in prison. That isn’t working.

      • K, Beck says:

        Maybe I am not as afraid because I grew up in Stockton! : )

      • R.V. Scheide Jr. says:

        Well, maybe it’s just a matter of making sure the people who are actually committing crimes get  those split sentences, so they can be forced to get rehabilitation. It may not be that many. We can concentrate on the homeless problem at the same time. A lot of the services intersect.

  3. R.V.’s comment about shopping with our advertisers is no joke, because it will take a lot of R.V.’s time and investigation to do this topic justice. And, as you know, time is money.

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    • Beverly Stafford says:

      Too right, Doni.  Support the advisers but also take out your check books and/or credit cards, and hit the DONATE button.  We certainly don’t get this type of information from the local bird cage liner; so we need to support A New Cafe with our $$ in order to know what’s happening in Redding and Shasta County.  This type of information IS NOT FREE even though we can access the site for free.    Step up!

  4. Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

    In 2015, property crime rates were up almost 7% , and violent crime rates went up about 8%. Blame AB 109. However, property crime rates were 2.5x higher in the early 1980s and violent crime rates were about 2x higher in the early 1990s than they are today. There’s a lot of fear-mongering going along with the uptick in crime in California since AB 109. Most of us have lived through far worse—we apparently just don’t remember. The fear-mongering borders on hysteria.

    Fearful people want the people they’re afraid of put in jail.

    The United States has more than 700 prisoners per 100,000 of the national population. We are 4.4 percent of the world’s population, and have 22% of the world’s prisoners. People who go to prison are, for the most part, permanently marginalized.

    How’s that put-’em-all-in-jail strategy working out for us? Walk around downtown Redding and see for yourself.

    • R.V. Scheide Jr. says:

      Actually, I’m not 100 percent convinced this is all AB 109, Prop 47 and other measures that have been passed to reduce the level of incarceration. It could be that there hasn’t been enough follow through on the probationary end. It could be the economy is just a lot worse than we think. It’s probably a combination of all these factors. I focused on AB 109 to keep a complex topic as simple as possible.

      One interesting thing about the high crime rate in 70s and 80s was that it followed similar attempts to reduce incarceration in the 60s and was followed by the war on crime–supported by both parties–in the 90s. The thing about putting more people in prison is that it worked. The crime rate dropped dramatically at first, but then began we suffered diminishing returns, increasing costs, over crowded prisons and federal lawsuits. Which brings us where we are today.

      One question I wanted to ask you Steve is this: A prison population of 170,000 (the high in California, 2009 or so) doesn’t seem like a lot of prisoners for a state with 38.8 million people in it. I think maybe they’ve cut it by 35,000 prisoners to this point. Shouldn’t the 58 counties, with 38.8 million people, be able to absorb that many without all hell breaking loose? I can’t wrap my head around it statistically, and thought maybe you could.

      • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

        I should have written, “Blame AB 109 if you must.” When it comes to human societies, there are few single-factor cause-and-effect relationships.

        The factor where I’m putting much of the blame is America’s tunnel-visioned emphasis on incarceration as punishment. I agree that jailing huge portions of the population works in the short-term. I’m not convinced it works in the long-term. The model where people go in bad and come out worse seems fatally flawed. The EuroZone rate of assaults is 260 per 100k people. America’s assault rate is 780 per 100k people—three times higher. The homicide rate in America is about 7.5  per 100k, while most European countries are 1-2 per 100k. Are we really being protected by our system of industrial incarceration?

        I also put a lot of blame here: America remains the wealthiest nation on earth, but we have huge numbers of people who feel desperate about their situations. Most Americans live paycheck to paycheck, and are one dire incident away from financial ruin. Desperate measures often follow.

        • K, Beck says:

          The only thing incarcerated people learn while incarcerated is how to be a better criminal.

          • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

            For the most part, yes.  That’s how the system is designed—most of the money goes toward incarceration.  The rehabilitation part of the equation gets lip service.

      • T. Smith says:

        Great article R.V. and it certainly stimulated an interesting discussion. This is a complex issue and I feel like you highlight the AB109 aspect pretty well. Interesting that you bring up the possibility that probation has fallen short on their obligation as well as the fact that this could be more expensive than we are currently spending on the problem. In looking at the plan for public safety realignment I noticed that AB109 was passed in early 2011 and the plan is dated as “revised in Mar 2014.” It could be enlightening to see an earlier version of this plan and to know exactly when the county had this formal response ready for action. On page 11 of the report it details exactly how much $ has been received since 2011. It is also interesting to see that from one FY to the next the amount went down. I wonder if this is from the county not appropriately planning to spend what it got the FY before…

  5. cheyenne says:

    There seems to be, even by posters on here, that this criminal element are long time locals.  If that were true then I would have raised a family in Shasta County amongst a criminal element that waited until I left to show itself.  Not hardly. My understanding is that these released AB109ers are sent back to their home county.  What determines their home county?

    Years ago prisoners released from Susanville, with no ties and from out of state, were given a bus ticket to Redding.   Redding PD even had a billboard south of town complaining about Redding being a dumping ground for sex offenders.  Did this make Shasta County their home county because the state sent them to Redding?

    Many group homes in Redding, run by dubious owners, brought in hundreds of kids whose next step would be jail.  These group homes had severe problems with these youth walking away and committing crimes.  I was at Shasta High doing the visitors locker room for a Enterprise/Lassen football game.  I was warned by the other custodians that a walk on coach who worked at a group home would bring three of his charges to the school and let them use his keys.  While I never left Enterprises locker room the Lassen team was ransacked and their personal items stolen.  Were these group home criminals, from the Bay Area or southern California, now residents of Shasta County because the state placed them there?

    You want to get rid of these AB109ers?   When they are arrested find out what county they were from before the state sent them to Redding.

     

     

     

     

    there seems to be

    • R.V. Scheide Jr. says:

      While I’ve read reports about convicts being bussed to places like Redding, as far as I have been able to find, the rule before AB 109 was they went back to the county they were convicted in. One reason the Stanford study classified Shasta County as a “law and order” county before AB 109 was that Shasta County had a high rate of sending people to prison for non-non-non offenses. That is an indication to me that the notion they’re all transients is somewhat overblown. That said, if a transient commits a felony in Redding, he’s going to get sucked up into this machinery, and at some level, he or she becomes our responsibility. Another thing to keep in mind that I didn’t emphasize in the story: This is happening everywhere in California, not just Shasta County. It’s a 58-county experiment, and there are plenty of rough edges to go around.

      • K, Beck says:

        My sister-in-law and I got in a heated argument about who had the most released prisoners, Stockton or Redding. We finally had to agree that each city had way too many parolees! This is a state-wide problem. Is there any way to know, for sure, where the AB 109ers were originally arrested?

        • R.V. Scheide Jr. says:

          Here’s the deal: If you commit a non-non-non AB 109 felony in Redding, it doesn’t matter where you live, you get arrested, put in jail, tried and sentenced here. It’s possible the Sheriff or RPD may have the information. I’ll try to find out.

  6. K, Beck says:

    Great article RV!

    When the three strikes law was on the ballot I had a long discussion with my niece who was in LE. I could not equate locking someone up for what would amount to the rest of his/her life (25 years to life) for stealing a pack of cigarettes. I know, I know, the third strike was supposed to be a “serious felony.” Look here for a list of “serious felonies” http://www.shouselaw.com/serious-felonies.html. On the list of  “serious felonies”, it says: “Robbery or bank robbery.” Penal Code 211 PC reads: “Robbery is the felonious taking of personal property in the possession of another, from his person or immediate presence, and against his will, accomplished by means of force or fear.” Then she told me the “truth” behind that law. The bulk of the people who would be arrested for the third strike were life long petty criminals. This was back in the day before everything was on a computer. She told me when they arrested people and printed out their rap sheet it was often 6 feet long. These were “career pretty criminals.” It was certainly catch and release. From her perspective they should just be taken off the streets so the police could concentrate on the “real” criminals. Three Strikes became law in 1994. The revision was passed in 2012. Read about 3 strikes here: http://www.courts.ca.gov/20142.htm.

    This is how we got in the mess we are currently in. Over crowded prisons.  Prisoners cost the tax payer a LOT of money! Did the prisons try to rehabilitate those “3 strikers?” Apparently not. So, the solution now, from the standpoint of the State Legislature, apparently, is to redefine a felony and turn all those prisoners, who were arrested under the old definition, loose.

    There most definitely needs to be a discussion, and a to the penny accounting, with the County to find out how the AB109 money is being spent.

    Rehabilitating a person who has been a criminal for their entire lives seems daunting to me.

    We need to start at the beginning and pour money into pre-school and elementary school education so people don’t end up stealing things from the beginning. We are all going to pay for this one way or another. Why not start at the beginning instead of throwing all these people in jail and then either throwing them out on the street or locking them up forever?

    • K, Beck says:

      That is “petty” not  “pretty.” My proof reading skills are lacking, along with my typing skills!

    • R.V. Scheide Jr. says:

      One of the most compelling stories I ever worked on concerned a two-striker who broke his probation after relapsing on crack, and, realizing he was going back to prison for 25 to life, went on a 6-week crime spree, robbing banks and convenience stores, murdering a drug dealer, leading cops on a chase from Sacramento to Fresno and back on I-5, ending with a car crash that killed a nurse. The dude pulled a Mac 10 on the sheriff deputy creeping up to the crashed car, and deputies opened fire, hitting him 16 times. He lived and pled guilty to murder and got the death penalty. His name is David Scott Daniels, he’s still on death row.

      • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

        I remember that story.  As I recall, the fatal crash on the return trip was in the Stockton/Manteca area.

        • R.V. Scheide Jr. says:

          No, near Sutter Hospital in South Sacramento. He shot the deputy who approached the car in the chest, and his badge literally stopped the bullet.

          • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

            Yeah, after I posted the comment I googled your old SNR article and read it.  You could have optioned that piece to Sacramento filmmaker Joe Carnahan.

            I might have been confusing it with the more recent bank robbery in Stockton where a female hostage in the get-away car was shot 10 times by the police.

  7. K, Beck says:

    Could someone explain to me how to insure that links posted come out “hot?” Sometimes it works and sometimes it does not.

    Thanks.

  8. Well written article – from my own prospective nothing new to me – the money is not being funneled as it should be and do not vote for the tax increase – more goes into the pockets of our politicians –

  9. Joanne Lobeski-Snyder says:

    Excellent research; excellent article R.V.   The Redding people I know who were released from prison were sent to prison under “Three Strikes” for crimes such as DUI or drug possession.  They were working and productive people before they were sentenced to prison.   I’ve lost touch with some of these people, but one person I see regularly is still doing well despite the crushing financial blow that going to jail or prison puts on working people.

    I’m astonished at the amount of money Shasta County received for for AB-109.  Forming committees and sub-committees and holding meetings and seminars with experts in any field and charging the expenses to a particular account can get pretty pricey.  Were any new positions created with these funds?

    Several of the young homeless people I run into in town are ex-students of mine.  One young man didn’t think his dad was serious when he said “If you live in my house after graduation you go to work or you go to college.”  Sitting on the couch playing video games while his dad went to work didn’t last too long.  I have to say he was only homeless, and couch surfing for a few months before he landed a job and started becoming an adult.

    A friend of mine’s son’s life changed when he was arrested for possession of meth about a decade ago.  He had to go to counseling as a part of his sentence.  It worked.

     

    Again, R.V., excellent article.

     

     

    • R.V. Scheide Jr. says:

      There have been new positions created, and many that are still waiting to be filled. I noticed in the RS a couple Sundays ago they had an article about all the people who provide services to the homeless being at odds with one another. A lot of those people are the same people who are involved with helping parolees. You get the feeling this could all come together if we could all just get along.

  10. Wendy Hill says:

    Good, interesting and seemingly unbiased information but I think there is still a lot more to the story. There are some criminals sent to Shasta County who did not commit their crime here, are not from here and have no family here. Also, services (rehab, job and housing assistance) is not always offered to those committing crimes here. They get released ASAP with an ankle monitor, even if they do not have a real address. I don’t know what the answer is but more jail space to keep criminals off the streets seems like a good start. It seems like many will also need some mandatory drug rehab and mental health services before they are ready for job placement and housing services.

    Disclaimer: these are only my opinions from personal experiences as a lifelong Shasta County resident and living in the “thick of it” in downtown Redding. I am definitely not a Miss Know-It-All 😉

  11. cheyenne says:

    There is an article in the Washington Post about marijuana incarceration rates.  Should be required reading for all marijuana interested people, legal or non-legal.  But this marijuana issue will not be solved until DC leaves it up to the states.

  12. Chuck Prudhomme Chuck Prudhomme says:

    Build a tent city like Maricopa County, Az.! If it’s good enough for our troops it’s good enough for felons! Elect the likes of Sheriff Arpaio in Az. To get tough on these criminals infesting our town! Arrest them and keep them locked up in this tent city with no amenities except the basics of life !

    • R.V. Scheide says:

      And if we follow Sheriff Joe all the way, let’s not forget the pink overalls. Pink is the new orange.

    • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

      Maricopa County has spent more than $50 million to date defending Sheriff Joe.  That’s not including the cost of defending him against the criminal contempt of court charges just filed by the Justice Department that he’ll shortly be facing.

      To put that $50 million in perspective, Measure D on the ballot would raise about $11 million per year.

      I suppose you could make the argument that it’s worth the cost if his methods are working, but the violent crime rate in Maricopa County is about 50% higher than the national average.

      • cheyenne says:

        Arizona, like some other states, has used tent prisons long before Sheriff Joe arrived.  They are two different items, tent prisons and Sheriff Joe.  The law suits are not about tent prisons but rather about Sheriff Joe’s supposedly racial profiling.  Many Arizonians support Sheriff Arpaio, I have talked to them when I’m down there, and they have reelected him five times.  They blame President Obama for spending millions fighting Sheriff Arpaio who they feel is on their side.  This once again is a racial issue with the whites against the Hispanics and fueled by the media.  And Arizona has a problem with illegal, mostly Hispanics.  My daughter is an US Marshall in Alaska and attends conferences in the southwest.  She said the marshals in Arizona, as well as the other border states, have told her how bad the problem is.  But some people don’t want strict law enforcement.

        And Steve I doubt the 50% violent crime rate above the national average.  Sorry.

        • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

          According to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program, the violent crime rate in the United States is about 368 per 100,000 people. In Maricopa County (which includes Phoenix and several other large cities), it’s 572 per 100,000 people. I eyeballed the difference as 50% higher.  It’s actually 64% higher than the US average.

          And you’re right—Sheriff Joe isn’t in hot water over tent jails or pink underwear, or for strict law enforcement.  He’s in hot water for ignoring court orders to end his department’s practice of racial and ethnic profiling.

          • cheyenne says:

            We can, friendingly, debate because of the internet.  I look at USA News top most dangerous states in America and Arizona doesn’t make the list.  Two of its neighbors do, Nevada and New Mexico.  In todays Prescott Courier is an editorial on Sheriff Arpaio and his upcoming election and how he will probably be voted in for a seventh term.  The Courier also states how all these federal charges against Arpaio stem from an original misdemeanor charge.  And the blogs on the editorial are about 95% for Sheriff Arpaio, unless you count the several posts against Arpaio made by one poster.  But then the Prescott Valley is in a conservative county, Yavapai.

  13. trek says:

    Taken from the web site;  transparentcalifornia.com

    This is the main reason why Shasta County and the City of Redding are in the mess that it is. Kurt Starman COR  manager tops the list with a total pay package including benefits at $315,907.54  #4. on the list for  COR is Police Chief Robert Paoletti – $228,357.53 There are a total of 25 COR employees racking in more than $200,00.00 in salary packages per the 2015 year. Combine the other 8 pages with 50 names per page with total salary and benefit packages above $100,000.00 and you start to see why there is no money available to solve the problems stated above.

    Shasta County’s top wage earner is none other than sheriff Tom Bosenko whom earns a very comfortable $302,263.00 in total salary and benefits along with  Shasta County CEO Larry Lees earning a respectable package of $256,525.00.

     

    Excellent article R.V.

    • R.V. Scheide Jr. says:

      Thanks! I always wonder if the money for those fancy pensions is gonna be there in 3-5 years. We’ll see!

    • Jackie Summerville says:

      Just unreal the money some of these officials are making in this County – and pretty much doing nothing – no wonder the shape we are in!!

  14. cheyenne says:

    The main reason Shasta County and Redding are in the shape they are is no jobs and the youth leave for other areas to find decent jobs.

    And I guess it is the salesman in me that looks at Transparent California as a customer contact.  What if Redding sent everyone of those million dollar pensioners a sales email on how Shasta County is amongst the lowest cost of living in the state.  What if that email sales pitch included all that the county has to over recreationally.  And, despite what some post, the crime rate is much lower in Shasta County than other parts of the state.  What if a few of those million dollar pensioners brought their spending power to Redding.  You can be sure that sales people from insurance to finance have a copy of that list and actively canvass those on the list.  Maybe what Redding needs on the city council is a car or insurance sales person.

    • trek says:

      Cheyenne, Your correct in your thinking but many of the 1000’s of jobs lost were more than 10 years ago and yet Shasta County and COR management have kept increasing their pay and benefits to the point of no turning back the clock. The townspeople sound and read like they’ve had enough? Maybe it’s time to quit asking the experts on how to reduce crime and drugs and start asking the criminals and drug addicts what it would take to make them leave the area or get sober or addiction free? The current catch and release only looks good on paper.

      • cheyenne says:

        Trek, I really can’t relate to Redding’s condition now because I left ten years ago and none of these conditions other than the youth leaving the area where present then.  So all I can do is make suggestions.

    • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

      Cheyenne — If we’re going by the State Attorney General’s CJSC Statistics, for the decade 2005-2014:

      Shasta County had the third-highest violent crime rate of California’s 58 counties—almost twice the state average—and the eighth-highest property crime rate.

      Of 461 California cities, Redding ranked 50th from the top in violent crime rate and 32 from the top in property crime rate.

      If you’re trying to sell Shasta County, you probably don’t want to bring up crime rates.  It’s too easy to look them up.

  15. K. Beck says:

    Pay rates must be competitive throughout the state. If Redding/Shasta County pays a rate substantially below what other cities/counties pay, police officers and firefighters will go to other cities with higher pay scales. It is supply and demand. Go to this site and at look at the wages throughout the state.

    http://www.sacbee.com/site-services/databases/article2573210.html

    FEBRUARY 27, 2016 8:34 AM

    See what California cities pay police, firefighters

    By Phillip Reese – preese@sacbee.com

    Average pay for California’s rank-and-file police officers and firefighters continued to rise significantly in 2015, as many cities across the state compete with each other for the best talent.

    California police officers made, on average, $111,800 during 2015, according to a Sacramento Bee analysis of new data from the State Controller’s Office. That figure reflects base pay, as well as overtime, incentive pay and payouts upon retirement.

    Firefighters and engineers earned, on average, $134,400. Average pay for police lieutenants across the state was $161,400; for fire captains, it was $153,300.

    Excluding overtime, vacation payouts and bonuses, average pay for police officers in 2014 was $85,400 and for firefighters was $84,600.

    Use this database to see the average pay for firefighters, police officers and their supervisors in nearly every California city and county. Updated October 2016 with 2015 data.

  16. chad says:

    The only reasonable answer to these problems facing our area is JOBS.  Without a reasonable market for employees, this is the situation we will live with.  We read almost daily of probation follow-ups of felons living with relatives being arrested for living in a home with guns.  We read almost daily of arrests for meth possession.   We read almost daily of  homeless folks arrested who are adult children of local families who have simply given up on them.  Jobs is the answer.  Not more jail cells.

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