In the state of California, we are often told that prisons and incarceration are the most effective way to reduce crime. However, this recent report by the American Civil Liberties Union points to six “tough on crime” states including Texas, that have successfully reduced their prison population while simultaneously saving millions of tax dollars by reducing how much they spend on the prisons. They have accomplished this through a number of very reasonable reforms, such as quality rehabilitation programs for prisoners who are no longer a threat, ending mandatory minimum sentences, and reducing sentences for small amounts of marijuana possession, to name a few. — Post Submission by Ernest Chavez
NEW YORK, Aug 9 (Reuters) – Six states that reduced incarceration rates by focusing on parole or probation instead of prison time have cut costs without increasing crime rates, according to a report released on Tuesday. Continue reading
LA Times poll showing Californians in favor of reforming 3 Strikes Law
According to a LA Times poll, Californians are calling for the reduction of prison inmates and also reduced sentences for three-strikers. The article points to two reasons for this: (1) The large hole left in the wallets of hard-working Californians, whose tax dollars have been spent in giant sums ($38,000 per inmate per year) to support the prison system… And to make matters worse, the global stock market just had its worst plunge since 2008, this week. This means the economy is only getting worse. (2) The June 2011 Supreme Court ruling (Brown v. Plata) which declared that California’s prison are overcrowded. The Supreme Court has ordered the State of California to begin releasing 31,000 inmates.
Preparations for the release of prisoners is already underway. Reducing the population of the prisons will help California save a lot of money. However, there is a responsibility that falls upon all members of the public. This responsibility is to make sure that the inmates who are being released have received the rehabilitation and reentry support they need to reenter society. A lot of prisoners experience a form of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Since they are being released back into our communities, we need to make sure we give them the support they need. This means that all Californians, regardless of political party, need to hold our county and public officials accountable in helping to make sure that these inmates are made ready to reenter our communities. Also read: California’s Goal to Reduce Prison Populations Hinges on County Plans. — post submission by Ernest Chavez Continue reading