MARTINEZ -- Acknowledging the strong community opposition, Contra Costa Sheriff David Livingston is backing off on plans for a 150-bed jail expansion in Richmond.
The sheriff's concession is contingent on a reduction in the inmate populations. He also wants the funds that would have been used to expand the jail set aside for up to six months in case the inmate population doesn't decline, Livingston told the Community Corrections Partnership and the audience Thursday.
"I'm willing to hold off if that helps to move this process forward," Livingston said.
The seven-member partnership, which includes the sheriff, district attorney, chief probation officer and public defender, is required under a California law to craft a spending plan for "realignment" dollars associated with the shift of hundreds of low-level offenders from the state to county jails.
The budget stalled this summer after vocal activists and state lawmakers objected to the sheriff's $2.9 million West County Jail expansion, arguing that it made more sense to invest in transitional services that help inmates prepare for civilian life so they don't end up back behind bars.
Activists praised Livingston although it's unclear if the sheriff had enough votes to pass the prison plan.
Nor is it clear if the sheriff's compromise will shake lose the budget stalemate.
The partnership did vote Thursday to fund at current levels the supervising, monitoring and
But two months into the fiscal year, the group is far from united on how to proceed.
It was a split 4-3 vote on the creation of a subcommittee that will recommend within two months a strategic operational plan upon which the partnership will base its next budget proposal.
Contact Lisa Vorderbrueggen at 925-945-4773, Twitter /lvorderbrueggen or Facebook/lvorderbrueggen.