Thursday, August 27, 2009

40,000 California Inmates to Be Released

Sometimes judges do things that are koo-koo crazy from my point of view.

For example. . .
A group of judges in California ordered the release of more than 40,000 of California's 160,000 inmates. No lie: They claimed that releasing one-quarter of state inmates would not have "a meaningful adverse impact on public safety," according to an article by Debra Saunders.

These judges willingness to ignore facts is scary:

It helps if you ignore the fact that California's violent crimes have fallen by about a third since California passed "three strikes" legislation in 1994 -- as the inmate population grew by 50,000.

As for the judges' contention that the state can release mentally ill inmates to no ill effect on public safety: All I can say is that it helps if you don't read a 2008 report commissioned by the Department of Justice on the California parole system. It found that parolees with a record of mental health problems have a 52 percent higher risk of committing the most serious violent offenses than other inmates.

Of course this is California we are talking about. . .

One last note: It's true, California prisons are officially overcrowded and running at 190 percent capacity. But that's only because 100 percent capacity means one inmate per cell and single bunks in dormitories.

I guess I shouldn't be surprised that prisoner comfort comes before public safety.

It makes me like Sheriff Joe Arpaio even more.

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