Plumas County District Attorney David Hollister had a few things to say to the Board of Supervisors at the board meeting Sept. 12 about the cooperation of the county’s departments pertaining to drug court and the day reporting center.
Hollister spoke during the Department Head Announcement section of the agenda.
“I am very concerned about the perceived increase in the rate of crime, particularly with low-level offenders,” he said to the board.
Hollister explained that the county is seeing an increase in drug possession and victimless crimes that affect the county’s way of life. He said the county has seen a 22 percent increase in crimes this summer.
“I firmly believe the loss of drug court and the day reporting center has resulted in this increase,” Hollister said.
Hollister urged the board to direct its departments to cooperate in sharing information, including drug-testing results, and to enter into agreements to reopen drug court and the day reporting center.
According to the Plumas County website, drug court was a special court responsible for substance abuse cases that involved comprehensive supervision, drug testing and incentives. Individuals that graduate from drug court could have lighter sentences or dismissal of the case.
The day reporting center served as an alternative sentencing program that offered education and community supervision to drug offenders.
Both the programs closed recently and Hollister said it was to the detriment of those who benefited from the programs.
“The end of these programs was caused by choices of this board to its staff,” he continued. “I feel that this board is receiving poor information that is leading to poor decisions.”
He said the ending of the programs came about by a lack of collaboration between board departments.
“The relationship between county government and the criminal justice department has never been more fractured. It is openly adversarial,” Hollister said. “I hope this damage is not permanent, but I fear it is.”
“I am afraid if we don’t get these programs up and running in the next couple of weeks, we will lose them forever, and if we lose them forever we will see numbers, like … the 22 percent increase we saw this summer, snowball,” Hollister continued.
“I’m sorry about the tone of this discussion, but I do believe we are at the point where things are impacting our citizens of our community and I wanted to bring it to your attention.”
Because the topic was not on the agenda, the board could not respond. However, District 4 Supervisor Lori Simpson suggested bringing state officials in to clarify and consult on the subject.
After the meeting, Feather Publishing contacted Simpson for further comment.
“I am having some real concerns because there are two sides to every story,” she said. “We didn’t shut down the drug court, the judge did.”
Simpson also said she plans to request the topic as an agenda item at a future meeting.