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Advocacy groups criticize $500 million in local jail funding

The Associated Press reports on criticisms, by CJCJ and other advocacy groups, of the rubric by which the Board of State and Community Corrections (BSCC) plans to distribute $500 million in jail construction funding to California counties. 

The groups said before a key vote Wednesday that decisions made by a Board of State and Community Corrections committee could allow counties to use the money to replace aging, crowded or unsafe jails instead of doing what lawmakers who approved the money a year ago intended: adding new space for rehabilitation and treatment programs.

The board also is failing to require counties to prove that they have the money to operate the jails once they open, the groups said in a letter to the board. For instance, it is not enough for a county to say it would use the money for classroom space, the groups said. County officials should be required to provide cost projections and show that they can hire teachers, the groups said.”