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Santa Barbara County Continues Look At Justice System, With Eyes On Streamlining Process And Reducing Jail Population

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Major focus continues on diversion efforts

Santa Barbara County leaders is continuing efforts to divert misdemeanor offenders from jails, and to streamline the criminal justice system to reduce pre-trial jail time.

Officials with the Sheriff’s Office, the District Attorney’s Office, the Public Defender’s office and other agencies are reexamining the custody process.

The ideas include things like diverting drug offenders to substance abuse treatment programs. The DA’s office is developing a Neighborhood Court program for to handle certain misdemeanor infractions and offenses. It’s received funding to develop an evidence-based felony diversion program.

The county is also looking at digital evidence sharing programs to speed up the flow of information from the DA’s Office to defense counsel, to help streamline the court process. County Supervisors will get an update on planned, and proposed changes when they meet Tuesday.