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Grand Jury Report Finds Supervisors Mismanaged AB109 Funds

The Shasta County Grand Jury is ripping the Board of Supervisors for apparently failing to manage Tens of Millions of Dollars in state grant funding. Over the last six years about $46 Million Dollars has been provided to the county from the AB109 fund. The money was intended to be used for programs that would reduce recidivism rates of returning prison convicts. Instead, the county has been allocating most of the funding for jail operations, which should have been funded by general fund money as they always have. The general funds that previously kept the jail running are being spent on other things, so that’s apparently why the jail capacity has remained the same over the last 10 years. It’s also the reason the county has turned away close to 50 Million Dollars offered by the state for new jail construction, citing an inability to fund operations of any new facility. The Grand Jury says the operations money has been there all along, it just wasn’t being spent properly. Also, it’s apparently not even possible for the Board of Supervisors to really know how the AB109 money is being spent because they have routinely approved the 8-to-10 Million Dollar annual budgets without having a representative on the community corrections partnership, as required by law. The picture painted by the Grand Jury shows the situation getting nothing but worse because in a couple of years there will be a 25% reduction in AB109 money, leaving the county with a $2 Million deficit for programs it was not supposed to be funding anyway. Another issue is that the board has not required any justification for the few anti-recidivism programs the money actually funds. The Grand Jury is calling on the county auditor-controller to order an audit on the entire mess.