Thursday, September 24, 2009

Orange County Public Hearing on the Budget

According to the Office of Management and Budget for Orange County, the proposed pretrial services budget for fiscal year 2009-2010 is $1,699,895 and is rolling under Corrections Administration. This is the program that allows "administrative" release by Jail staff to release and supervise defendants charged with serious offenses.

Yet the Corrections Department made a presentation at this past Tuesday's Board of County Commissioners meeting and stated that the pretrial services budget, which is charged with screeing and investigating defendants for first appearance is only $35,000 annually; the supervision piece is housed under a completely different division, Community Corrections, and that budget is only $385,000 annually. That is a difference of $1,279,895!! Who is telling the whole story here?? What is the additional $1,279,895 being spent on pertaining to pretrial services?

These are your tax dollars being spent on a program that releases defendants charged with serious offenses who often never see a Judge for their release.

Let your voice be heard at tonight's public hearing on the budget and tell your elected officials you don't want your tax dollars spent to release individuals who choose to commit criminal offenses!

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