What's at stake for social justice in Sacramento County?
Updated: Jan 27
The County passed a placeholder budget to last through the summer so that the Board could make a decision on the full budget in September once they have a better sense of the impact of COVID-19 on the County coffers.
The 2020-21 placeholder budget funds the Sheriff's Office, which includes the jails, at $277 million – one of the largest line items in the County's budget by far.
However, the County is also responsible for funding social services programs like foster care, child support, correctional health services, human assistance aid programs and mental health services.
According to the Sacramento Bee, the Sheriff's budget is "105 percent of what the county collects from you and spends on social services."
The structure of County government also makes oversight of the Sheriff more difficult. Where the Sacramento Police Department answers to the City Manager and ultimately the City Council, the Sacramento County Sheriff, Scott Jones, is an independently elected official--so nobody can really tell him anything!
That being said, the Board can hit him in the pocketbooks if they were so bold to defund law enforcement and invest in community-led health and safety solutions.