California Will Releases These Inmates Early
Posted in the US News Forum
#1 Jul 27, 2009
EvadeAndSurvive.com/Parole See what crimes are forgiven because of California's Budget Cuts. See what felonies are now misdemeanors.
SACRAMENTO — Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has outlined a plan to save $1.2 billion in prison spending by changing the criminal justice system so that fewer people are sent to prison and fewer parolees are sent back to prison. The plan would also allow some inmates to serve time outside prison walls - in residences, hospitals, group homes or treatment centers, where they would be monitored by GPS tracking devices. In all, the governor says, the plan would reduce the California prison population of 167,700 by about 27,000 inmates. Here are some of the details from the governor's outline: In-depth: Schwarzenegger's plan to free 27,000 inmates Calif. budget deal would release 27,000 inmates.
See it at Evade and Survive (Parole) EvadeAndSurvive.com
#2 Jul 27, 2009
EvadeAndSurvive/Parole See The Complete Story and California's Packed Prison Pics.
Early Release for Prison Inmates in California - A Solution to the Overcrowded Prison System?
California has the largest prison system in the United States consisting of 173,000 inmates, which is more than the state system is designed to hold.
This over population is proving to be unsafe for the prison guards and has even been the cause of some inmate deaths. A federal judge has given California officials six months to reduce the inmate population.
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is trying to transfer over 2,000 inmates to prison systems in other states. Also, Governor Schwarzenegger is planning on introducing a plan to start a building program next month, even though a similar plan was denied by state lawmakers this past year.
Some officials are suggesting that six months will not be enough time to reduce the prison system in California to its optimum capacity. The inmates' attorneys also believe the prison system will not be ready in six months.
There is a solution if California is not able to transfer enough inmates within the six months. That option is to release some of the inmates early.
EvadeAndSurvive.com Pics and Issues
#3 Jul 27, 2009
The law does permit the early release of inmates, but only if a three judge panel, which has yet to be created, determines that early release is the best option. US District Judge Lawrence Karlton has postponed the appointment of a three judge panel because he has seen the improvement Governor Schwarzenegger has already provided.
#4 Jul 27, 2009
Hopefully a decision is decided on that does not involve the early release of inmates, especially since inmates rarely have to serve their full sentence anyways. EvadeAndSurvive.com
Though the cost to build more prisons is costly, it is something that should be considered before any other option. The reason is because transferring the inmates will just cause overcrowding in other states' prison systems and will just prove as a temporary solution to the overcrowding in the California prison system.
California is not the only state with overcrowding issues in their prison system. Matter of fact the entire United States is operating well over their design capacity, and so something needs to be done to fix not only California's prison system problem, but the prison system of all states in the US.
Pics Over Crowding EvadeAndSurvive.com/Parole
#5 Jul 27, 2009
Schwarzenegger would also allow offenders newly sentenced to 20 months or less for nonviolent crimes to walk free without serving a day if they didn't have a prior violent conviction on their records.
"The policy statement here is to prioritize that violent offenders will serve their time under the current laws and that the nonviolent [criminals] will get early release," said James Tilton, secretary of the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. With the cuts, the agency's proposed budget would be $10.3 billion.
The cuts would alleviate pressure on the state's overcrowded prisons, which are under scrutiny by federal judges. Prisoner advocates, who applauded Schwarzenegger's plan, say the crowding problem is worsened by California's policy of putting every ex-convict on parole regardless of the crime, resulting in many being sent back to prison for minor violations.
#6 Jul 27, 2009
"It's unacceptable to balance the budget of California on the backs of the people who obey the law," said L.A. County Sheriff Lee Baca.
Overall, Schwarzenegger's budget estimates that his plan would cut the prison population, now 173,000, by more than 28,000 inmates next year and nearly 35,000 by 2010. As many as 2,000 prison guards would face layoffs.
For the state to reduce the inmate population enough to save, as it hopes, more than $370 million by 2009 and $750 million annually by 2010, it would have to keep 50,000 or more convicts out of prison, by some estimates. That is because many serve only a few months at a time; the state might have to get rid of three short-timers to eliminate one bed.
#7 Jul 27, 2009
Release the terminally ill.
Terminally ill prisoners who want to die at home rather than behind bars may be eligible for an early release under a state's "medical parole" or "compassionate release" law. But critics say the procedure is rarely used and that the process is bureaucratic and filled with red tape.
"Often times prisoners die while their medical parole is being processed. People need to recognize that these (paroles) are extremely hard to get granted," said Jackie Walker, the AIDS information coordinator with the ACLU National Prison Project in Washington, D.C.
About 30 states and the federal prison system have either a "medical parole" law that is overseen by the state parole board, or a "compassionate release" procedure, that is either legislated or part of an internal department of corrections procedure that allows for the early release of dying prisoners.
Just under 100 inmates were released under medical parole or compassionate release laws in 1997, according to the National Institute of Corrections. That number is down from 143 inmates released in 1996 and 214 released in 1994, according to the National Institute of Justice.
#8 Jul 27, 2009
Parole Denied for the Killer of Kelsey Grammer's Sister There will be no parole in the case of Freddie Glenn, 52, who is serving a life sentence for first-degree murder of Karen Grammer, the sister of actor Kelsey Grammer.
#9 Jul 27, 2009
There is no more important priority for government than protecting public safety.
That’s why I am so troubled by Governor Schwarzenegger’s plan to release more than 22,000 inmates early and reduce the parole population by 18,500 parolees. This proposal is part of the Governor’s budget plan to reduce California’s $14.5 billion budget deficit. The Administration says only “non-violent” and “non-serious” offenders would be eligible for early release under their plan, but a closer look at the proposal shows otherwise.
Since liberal Democrats refuse to update our state’s public safety laws to expand what is considered a “serious” or “violent” crime, there are a number of serious crimes that are currently falsely categorized as being “non-serious” or “non-violent” acts.
That means we could see some types of stalkers, repeat drunk drivers and gang members who recruit new members to their criminal ranks by force back on the streets under the Governor’s plan. The worst of the drug criminals, those who run drug labs in their homes in front of their innocent children, could also be given a pass. We can not let these felons out of prison before they have paid their debt to society.
#10 Jul 27, 2009
See California's Prison Over Crowding Images at EvadeAndSurvive.com
What would the impact of the Governor’s early release plan be on San Diego County? There is no doubt that early release would have a devastating impact on public safety here in our community. Our area could potentially see thousands of serious and repeat felons roaming free on our streets since felons have to return to the county in which their crime was committed upon being released from prison.
Make no mistake, the inmates serving time today in our prisons for committing these offenses are by no means harmless – they are some of our state’s most hardened criminals. If we let them out of prison before they have been given the opportunity to be properly rehabilitated and given life skills to become productive citizens after their release, most will likely return to a life of crime once they are back on the outside.
#11 Jul 27, 2009
Californians should not have to live in fear in their own homes because of our state’s budget problems. The reason why California is facing a fiscal crisis is not because we are housing too many inmates in our prisons, but because the majority party has spent too much for too long. Families should not have to suffer because Democrats cannot stop overspending.
Without a doubt, I believe the Governor’s misguided early release plan will hurt San Diego families, and should be rejected by the Legislature. It’s time we go back to the drawing board and work together to find better ways to cut wasteful governments spending and reduce the deficit without putting Californians at risk.
2/7/2008 | Opinion Editorial
Governor’s Early Release Plan Threatens San Diego Families
#12 Jul 27, 2009
Federal Judges Threaten to Order Release of CA Prisoners
By T. Chris, Section Inmates and Prisons
Posted on Mon Feb 09, 2009 at 08:30:03 PM EST
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Three federal judges, after hearing evidence of California's ongoing failure to provide adequate health care (including mental health care) to state inmates, told the State it had lost the lawsuit and had better settle quickly if it didn't want to face an order requiring it to release as many as 58,000 prisoners over the next two to three years.
Everyone (except maybe the correctional officers' union) agrees that overcrowding is the problem.
Because prisons are jammed beyond capacity, they lack medical facilities, doctors and nurses, can't make sure inmates are taking medications or receiving treatment, and are triple-bunking inmates in gyms and other locations, the panel said. Such overcrowding increases the risk of spreading diseases among prisoners and staff, the judges said.
#13 Jul 27, 2009
"The evidence is compelling that there is no relief other than a prisoner release order that will remedy the unconstitutional prison conditions," the panel said in what it labeled a tentative ruling after a trial in San Francisco last fall.
#14 Jul 27, 2009
Reducing the inmate population could save the State $1 billion a year, a number that should penetrate the skulls of legislators (and Gov. Schwarzenegger) no matter how persuasive they find the union lobbyists. The risk to society is minimal if resources now devoted to incarceration are instead spent on community supervision, and if inmates on parole are given alternatives to incarceration for minor parole violations. Allowing sentence reductions for good behavior (once a common practice before the "tough on crime" crowd convinced the public that early release was somehow deceptive, giving birth to "truth in sentencing" laws) would, the judges noted, give inmates an incentive to behave better while they're locked up.
#15 Jul 27, 2009
"Much of the evidence showed that [reducing prison populations has] been done in other states without having any impact on public safety," [Donald] Specter [of Prison Law Office] said. "It's safe, it's reasonable, it's necessary. It's too bad that it's taken a court to recognize this."
#16 Jul 27, 2009
EvadeAndSurvive.com/Parole See CDC Overcrowding Pics.
the District Court heard closing arguments regarding prison overcrowding. A few snippets:
Inmates' attorneys argued Tuesday that releasing tens of thousands of prisoners is the answer.
"The entire system is collapsing because of the overcrowding," Don Specter, director of the nonprofit Prison Law Office, told the three-judge panel in U.S. District Court.
If the panel agrees, it could order the population cut by one-third in California's 33 adult prisons. That would lead to the early release of some 52,000 inmates.
Attorneys representing Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, about 80 local law enforcement officials and 44 Republican lawmakers agreed that California's prisons are dangerously overcrowded, despite steps taken in recent years to relieve the problem.
But they also argued that freeing tens of thousands of inmates or diverting them to county programs would overwhelm local police, jails and rehabilitation programs. Crime would go up, and many parolees would go without supervision, they said.
The judges have indicated they support the premise that the prisons' problems stem from overcrowding. U.S. District Judge Lawrence Karlton acknowledged the "very profound effect" on counties if an early release was ordered, but also said 52,000 inmates might not be enough. He suggested that nearly half of the current 158,000 inmates may need to be freed.
"The state of the evidence is you can't solve the problem without solving the overcrowding," Karlton said Tuesday.
The governor's position is rather interesting. As we know, the most recent version of the budget included releases of non-violent prisoners, as well as cutting parole for the same population. The governor actually supported the release of 15,000 prisoners. It would therefore appear to be the case that the argument is no longer about whether to release prisoners, but how many, and how the choice is to be made.
Don Specter, and Judge Karlton, will be among our speakers at the upcoming California Correctional Crisis Conference. See more at EvadeAndSurvive.com
#17 Jul 27, 2009
People in Los Angeles metropolitan area have got used to talk with Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca on releasing prisoners each time when there is a budget fight, but this time, the "wolf" will really come.
Baca, who leads the largest county sheriff department in the United States, sent a letter last week to county supervisors that if he's forced to slash 25 million U.S. dollars from his budget he'll shut down the 1, 600-bed North Facility at Pitchess Detention Center in Castaic.
He also threatens to release some of those inmates early and transfer others to already overcrowded jails.
Baca wrote that closing the jail will "potentially result in an increase in inmate violence and a resultant increase in the use of force."
It is not the first time the county sheriff has threatened to release inmates early, but this time it seems that the closing of one jail and release of prisoners will come true since the county, like the state, is in a budget crisis.
The state of California has proposed a cut of 1.2 billion dollars in the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation budget as a way to reduce the 26 billion budget deficit.
#18 Jul 27, 2009
The Los Angeles Police Protective League, a union represents the Los Angeles Police Department, said that although no one in the state legislature has made any of this public, "we can safely guess that numbers like this translate into the early release of about 20, 000 felons."
In Orange County, another big county in Southern California, law enforcement leaders worry that a state proposal to release low-risk felons early with no parole would hinder local police's ability to monitor potentially dangerous criminals.
In the past, Sheriff Baca and other police department chiefs in California have finally got the budget they requested because county supervisors, city council members and state legislators cannot risk the deterioration of community safety, which is a priority concern of all the residents, to achieve budget balance.
#19 Jul 27, 2009
The first priority of any government is to ensure the safety of its citizens
#20 Jul 27, 2009
there are people who support the proposed release of inmates to save money for the government.
On the website of a local radio station in Los Angeles, a person nicknamed Star said it is a good idea to release inmates since there are inmates who have done the time and are still in, or the courts just want to lock doors and throw away the keys.
In the opinion of this person, the courts are making prisons over crowded.
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