Skip to comments.Brown Wants To Cut Prison Population by a Fifth
Posted on 05/08/2011 5:36:46 AM PDT by Kaslin
How small is the California prison population likely to become if Gov. Jerry Brown has his way? In three years, California's prison population would be 20 percent smaller.
When we chatted on the phone on the issue last week -- always an experience -- Brown sounded more like his old self, a left-wing talk-show host of the 1990s, than the tough-on-crime Oakland mayor and state attorney general who followed.
There are always two Jerry Browns. There's the talk-show Brown who likened American incarceration rates to "absolute oppression." A decade later, Attorney General Brown fought three federal judges, who ordered California to release 37,000 to 58,000 inmates to relieve overcrowding, because the judicial panel "does not recognize the imperatives of public safety, nor the challenges of incarcerating criminals, many of whom are deeply disturbed."
Now as governor, he has signed a bill to transfer some 37,000 inmates -- felons convicted of nonviolent, non-serious, non-sex crimes -- to local jurisdictions over three years. The move should save boatloads of money, as jail beds cost about half the $50,000 annual tab per state prison inmate. "Low-level offenders" also could be diverted to community programs, parole or home detention. Critics call it a get-out-of-jail-free card.
For the 47,000 inmates serving fewer than 90 days last year (they violated parole or have served a chunk of their time in jail), the current system makes no sense. As Brown noted, "all these damn lawsuits" require expensive medical, dental and psych evaluations whenever inmates are admitted, even for short stays.
Brown also argued that the U.S. Supreme Court could issue a ruling "any day" that forces the state to release inmates to relieve overcrowding as per the three judges -- an odd pronouncement from the state's erstwhile lawyer. I think he's wrong. Recent big-bench decisions have steamrolled over federal judges' intrusions into state justice policy.
As always happens, Brown is amazed that I don't see that his plan is "conservative." "This represents the best thinking of people in penology," he explains -- and an end to what he calls wasteful "$50,000 scholarships."
On the short-timers, he is right, but he should have stopped there and not attempted to throw all "low level" felons to the counties as well. When Brown starts talking about incarceration rates in Europe and arguing that "local people" are more "in touch" with offenders, I think of San Francisco -- the city that flew drug offenders to Tegucigalpa, Honduras, to help them evade federal immigration authorities in 2008. I think about the 40 crimes -- including felony domestic violence, assaulting a police officer, solicitation for murder and human trafficking -- left out of an earlier version of the bill.
Brown notes that local law enforcement supports the plan. Of course, they do. They're starving for money.
Brown promises that there will be "no realignment unless money follows it." (He doesn't have the money yet because his tax-extension proposal didn't qualify for the June ballot, but he's working on it.)
In the last five years, changes in the parole system have reduced the number of state prison inmates by 11,000 in five years. Criminal Justice Legal Foundation President Michael Rushford sees a link between California's tough sentencing system and its low crime rate. He predicts that the state's next crime report "is going to be a little higher," and next year, "a lot higher."
Maybe Rushford's wrong. Maybe he's right. The question is, to paraphrase not Brown, but Dirty Harry: Do you feel lucky?
The problem is the way California Prisons are constructed. They should be built in a manner similar to a maze. When the prisoner finds his way out, he is in Mexico,
Then all he would have left in prison would be actual bank robbers, murderers, child molesters, convicted political criminals, illegals from countries other than Mexico, and the rest of the actual population that should be in jail. Problem solved!
I would not have a problem with this if the reason to do so was to free up space for the incarceration of those now in political office.
Your last paragraph covers the makeup of the Democrat Party, so put them back on the streets also.
Hand each a fifth of cheap wine and a straight razor as they walk out the gate and they will solve the problem among thenselves.
Letting the illegals out?
What will be interesting to watch is the unemployment rate and crime rate in CA after the release.
Since people with a clean record can’t find a job, how hard will it be for a ex-convict? If an ex-convict can’t find a job and wants to make a living, does he turn back to crime or go on welfare?
They could easily do this. Get some old seaworthy barges and build holding cells on the barges. When they reach capacity, began to tow the illegals back to Mexico.
You could even design the units so that once at sea, the doors would open and the only ones on the barges would be the illegals, along with sufficient rations and water to sustain them. Assuming they are all from Mexico, drag that barge down past Baja to Southern Mexico.
At some point, offer to the mexican government the option of running a shuttle out to the barge to retrieve their citizens or obtain permission to bring the barge a little closer to dock. Get close enough to shore and most of these guys would make a break for it and try to swim to shore. You might even tease them with a couple of old row boats tied to the back.
the idea being to get them:
1) Out of the US.
2) Out of our local prisons, and
3) as far from our border as possible.
Many of them won't make the effort to repeat the long journey north.
Several comments about illegals so i’ll chime in too. Brown calls for an end to these $50,000 scholarships,the cost of holding someone for a year.
Educating a child here in NYC runs about $20,000 a year. I can’t see there being much difference in California. Therefore a family of illegals with 2 children of school age runs about $40,000 a year. Free healthcare for that family. Food stamps? A typical illegal family will cost,between federal ,state & local an easy $50,0000 a year and more likely $75,000 a year.
How about that damn scholarship Jerry you jerk wad? How about it?
Both, more likely.
The only thing that will stop them from returning will be severe penalties for doing so. Make us chase you down a second time and its automatic jail time. Hell,its rather a blue collar crime. Make them their own prison right on the border. It will never fill up and it may well be empty in 3 years. You wouldn’t need a fence ( i want one anyway) if they felt there was a price to pay.
He’s gotta cut it by a fifth because half the prison guards are collecting their pensions early.
oh, that Brown. Between him and Scott, hard to tell apart.
The notion of “two Jerry Browns” is scary...
A much better idea is Joe Arpaio-style tent jails. Because these are much like military field conditions, internationally the major powers refuse to permit them to be listed as inhumane in international law.
So though Brown would have to fight some of the kook judges in California, he could save a LOT of jobs for his prison guards union buddies. Heck, based on the money saved, those guards who worked in rural area tent prisons could easily be paid time and a half.
It would relieve prison overcrowding, thus cutting down on violence and gangs, and those prisoners that needed to be in the city to attend court or for medical or other reasons, could stay in the ‘brick’ prisons.
There are already government programs that pay the employer a subsidy/lower his taxes for employing felons. I have read of proposals (may already be in force, I don’t know) to eliminate employment *discrimination* against felons. I believe some states, perhaps Tennessee(?), is considering or already has eliminated or lessened the sex offender monitoring program.
How else are felons going to be able to pay all the government penalties and fines that are attached to their imprisonment? It ups the employment stats, too, so it is all good. /s
The Demonic-rat answer: Reduce the Police force and empty the Prisons. After enough people are raped, murdered, and robbed - the remaining population will be frightened enough to pay what ever taxes we request without question.
The problem Gov Brown out does not realize is that 10,000 people are retiring every day; and until California builds its Berlin wall (on every border but Mexico), people will leave.
Even worse is that only half of the population work. Of that half only half pay taxes. Of that half the top 25% ($85K +) pay 90% of the taxes. So simple math .5*.5*.25=6.25% or a ratio of 16 to 1.
The most likely people to leave will come from this 6.25%. Each one of these people support 16 others.
Further more these people are the most affluent in the state: they use more services - dining - travel - shows - purchases - charity - etc.. So as they leave you get a reverse multiplier affect: Their expenditures create 7 other jobs - so their departure will have a negative multipler of -7.
Finally - these people have an accumulated net worth of over $1M: between their retirement - home - savings - etc...
that will leave the state with them.
California is doomed.
The Mexican illegal alien convicts that we expel will be back in the US within a week and committing more crimes.
Our economy would be in the black if we would only send our illegals back to their own country!
Can you just imagine....lower taxes with the added extra benefits of being able to sustain our hospitals, emergency services, roads, and a plethora of other things?
....as long as they all are restricted to living in just California, no where else....let Brown knock himself out. =.=
The walls could be the border fence itself! Jump over the fence and it lands you in prison!
There would be plenty of room since the prison would be the length of the entire border. And erect it on the Mexico side so they can pay for it! (hey, if you're gonna dream, dream big!)
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