LA to State: We Can't Watch All These Cons
California dumps responsibility onto county, city
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 4, 2011 1:10 PM CDT
In this undated photo released by the California Department of Corrections, inmates sit in crowded conditions at California State Prison, Los Angeles.   (AP Photo/California Department of Corrections, File)

(Newser) – The good news for California is that its state prison system has a lot fewer prisoners and parolees to deal with. The bad news, according to the mayor and police chief of Los Angeles, is that crime on the streets is going to rise. The state last weekend shifted responsibility for thousands of parolees and inmates onto local jurisdictions, in part to cut costs and in part to comply with a Supreme Court order to improve prison overcrowding, reports the Wall Street Journal.

"Los Angeles has the lowest crime in a generation, the lowest number of homicides since 1967, and a 40% reduction in the most violent gang crime," said Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. "All of that could change, starting today." He and top cop Charlie Beck say the state is saddling the city with a huge extra workload but no extra money. The state gave Los Angeles County $124 million for the shift and says it's up to the county to divvy it up appropriately among its municipalities, notes the Los Angeles Times.