Due to budget cuts and overcrowding in county and state prisons, prisoners have begun to be released on parole or to continue their sentences at home under house arrest.

But Sheriff Lee Baca proposed earlier in the year that prisoners paroled by the state should be jailed temporarily in Los Angeles County jails.

The state’s release of low-level offenders to county supervision, which started on Oct. 1, is part of a plan to cut state costs and to reduce the state’s prison population, which has been far higher than allowed by federal law for years. Prisoners have been sleeping on cots in jail gymnasiums, dayrooms, and program rooms.

When prisoners are paroled, they are given a bus ticket, $200 and an address to report to. But Baca expressed that parolees cannot be trusted to report to locations as requested.

Legally, the prisoners would have to be sent to Los Angeles before being officially paroled in order to implement Baca’s plan. Once paroled, the county would have no right to detain them, absent a parole violation.

Baca said he thought state officials would be open to his suggestion to hold prisoners for a day or two.

However, the notion was not well received. Supervisor Gloria Molina believes Baca’s plan will cause more problems than resolve them, saying it would be a “liability” for the county to take responsibility for additional prisoners.