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The subcommittee has called this hearing today for the purpose of examining the crisis of diminishing resources which currently affect programs and services in Los Angeles County and throughout the State. Local governments, in the wake of Proposition 13, have reduced expenditures for many important functions, including criminal justice functions. Probation departments in this process have been particularly vulnerable to reductions in programs and staffing and have received ·heavier cuts than other criminal justice agencies. The decline in probation resources raises important questions about the future role of probation in the criminal justice process. Among the most important of these is whether probation's effectiveness, as a low-cost alternative to incarceration, will be undermined and what impact such a result will have on the courts, on the prisons, and on the jails, on prosecutors, on schools, and on the general public.

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