TEXT_SIZE
Please update your Flash Player to view content.
   These are the stories we are working on for this week's newspaper:
  • Quick fix: A plumbing problem is forcing the Plumas Unified School District to move its headquarters to the former probation building.
  • Lesser charges: A former Chester Public Utility District general manager pleaded guilty to reduced charges last month in connection with unauthorized use of a district credit card at a Reno strip club.

Plumas braces for shift of inmates from prison to jail

Joshua Sebold
Staff Writer
3/18/2011


New Plumas County District Attorney (DA) David Hollister explained some of the unique challenges that would be facing his office in the future, during a recent Board of Supervisors meeting.

The DA said new Gov. Jerry Brown supported former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's plan to shift some of the state prison burden back to the counties.

Hollister anticipated that prisoners originally sentenced to terms of three years or less would soon be returned to the counties they came from, while new offenders convicted of those crimes would also serve their time in jail.

The attorney argued this change would impact small counties disproportionately because they prosecuted a larger percentage of offenders with shorter sentences.

Hollister said when he worked in Oakland he spent all of his time trying cases that either involved the possibility of life in prison or had a cop as the defendant because high profile cases were the only ones people cared about there.

He told the supervisors smaller crimes had a larger impact on people's quality of life in small communities, where the expectations were different.

"Somebody breaks into Quincy Drug - that's a big deal to me. That's somebody who probably ought to go to prison. Somebody selling meth, maybe to school kids - that's a big deal to me. That guy goes to prison."

Hollister indicated both of those crimes had maximum sentences of three years meaning, "Those people will be housed in county jail."

"We have a finite number of beds in the county jail," he continued. "Those beds are now the most valuable beds in Plumas County because we need to pay attention to who fills them and that is going to be a real challenge."

Indian Valley Supervisor Robert Meacher asked how many criminals convicted each year in Plumas County received sentences longer than one year but shorter than three. These are the people that were previously in prison but would soon be housed in jail.

Hollister guessed the number was somewhere between 20 and 50 each year.

"We don't have that many beds," Eastern Plumas Supervisor Terry Swofford exclaimed.

Hollister confirmed that was the case, adding, "We're going to have to work with probation."

"The folks that are in there, maybe on their third-time DUI, we need to do something else for them."

He concluded electronic home monitoring or work programs would have to become larger parts of the county's incarceration plans.



Prescription drugs

The DA explained Plumas wasn't immune to the growing prescription drug abuse problem, commenting that it was "catching up with methamphetamine around here."

"Isn't that because the CHP is focusing very heavily on that these days?" Meacher asked.

"Maybe with the DUI part of it, but we're seeing burglaries for people to steal those out of retirees' houses, people that are selling them."

"We had one who came along, somebody who had 400 pills in their pocket. I mean they're not going to take 400 hydrocodone pills."

"We're starting to see the effects of it, just very damaging to young folks - very addictive - and something we're really trying to watch."



The Hollister doctrine

On his personal philosophy, Hollister told the board, "Politics stay out of the courtroom."

The DA said this meant he would never have an answer for questions like "What's your policy on methamphetamine sales? What's your policy on murder, or child molestation?"

"That's not fair to the system. It's not fair to the defendant. It's not fair to the victim."

"We look at each case individually," he concluded.
Move
-

Sports Headlines

Top Headline

FRC rodeo to open arena for anyone brave enough

FRC rodeo to open arena for anyone brave enough

This cowboy holds on for dear life during last year’s saddle bronc riding portion of the rodeo clinic at Feather River College. For the third year, FRC’s rodeo...

Read More...

New class plans paddle fest

New class plans paddle fest

Quincy locals try out some human-powered boats at last year’s Plumas Paddle Fest, presented by the Outdoor Recreation Leadership program of Feather River College....

Read More...

Fishing Report for the week of 4/18/2014

Fishing Report for the week of 4/18/2014

Robert Paulson, of Meadow Valley, holds up the 23-pound Mackinaw he caught at Bucks Lake on April 6. Photo submitted Michael Condon Staff Writer 4/18/2014Read More...

Contact Us
up_contact
Facebook Image

BarberBtn

Local Events

National Headlines

Auto Parts
CanyonMotorsButton
Moving and Storage
LassenNews.com
Yellow Page Directory
Yellow Pages
Advertise with us
Dining Guide
PlumasDiningCoverWeb
Visitors Guide
"); pageTracker._trackPageview(); } catch(err) {}