Wednesday, March 1, 2023

New District Attorney gets $500,000 to study charges against people of color

Santa Barbara County's new District Attorney, John Savrnoch, has been granted $500,000 to hire a data analytics consultant to determine whether county prosecutors were filing stiffer charges and securing tougher sentences against people of color. 

The money was approved by county supervisors, who praised Savrnoch's "refreshingly open and collaborative approach." Public Defender Tracy Macuga, who had previously led the fight against the funding, expressed misgivings about the chosen consultant, George D'Angelo of Sicuro Data Analytics. 

At the same meeting, criminal justice reform activists lobbied supervisors to reduce the number of inmates sentenced to county jail for non-violent minor misdemeanor offenses, and to divert people with mental health and addiction issues into treatment. 

They highlighted a consultant's report indicating that as many as 250 fewer people could be kept out of jail without compromising public safety.

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New county redistricting map adopted, legal challenges loom

San Luis Obispo County's Board of Supervisors voted 3-2 on Tuesday, along party lines, to adopt Map A for redistricting, with Supervisor...