Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Kalifornia Prison Release Update

Last week, I reported that the California State Senate had narrowly passed a measure that would result in the release (or decrease in prison population ) of 27,000 inmates. As of today, the measure is stalled in the state assembly. Though the assembly is heavily dominated by Democrats, about 16 of them, who are planning runs for higher office, are afraid to vote for this controversial measure that has already resulted in an uproar. As it stand, Assembly Speaker Karen Bass (D) is trying to craft a bill that would pass. In addition to the 27,000 already mentioned, 10,000 more would be released in January 2010.

Assembly Speaker Karen Bass (D)

This week, in the midst of all this controversy, out-going LAPD Chief Bill Bratton has publicly stated that if this measure is passed, LA would probably absorb about 20% of the prisoners. Bratton adds that the PD is simply not equipped to deal with that many prisoners who would be returning to a city with no job, job prospects or programs to deal with their re absorption into freedom. In other words, the only option is to commit more crimes and go back to prison.

In addition, the state is already facing an order from a 3-judge panel from the ultra-liberal 9th Federal Circuit Court of Appeals to cut the prison population by 40,000 within two years due to "over-crowding". This order is being appealed to the US Supreme Court by the Republicans in the state legislature.

It is also interesting to note that California voters have already approved a bond measure authorizing the state to borrow money to construct new prisons. The problem is that the Dems in the legislature don't want to build them. They would rather release the prisoners. The politicians, while they talk about saving $1.2 billion by this release, also refuse to face the question of why California spends $48,000 on each prisoner per annum-more than any other state. Florida, for example, spends $18,000 on each prisoner per annum.

One positive note is that the part about establishing a sentencing commission that would be independent from the legislature has apparently been scrapped. This monstrosity not only would have contained a convicted felon as a non-voting member, but would have had the power to change certain crimes from felonies to misdemeanors. The obvious goal would be to gut California's 3 Strikes law-without the legislature having to answer to the voters for it. Only the governor would be able to short-circuit such a decision by the sentencing commission. And don't forget, California's current governor is in favor of this bill to begin with.

Our governor (You know who)

So the battle rages on. Virtually all of California's law enforcement agencies have come out against this measure in any form. The Democrats don't need any Republicans to pass the measure; they just need to convince their willy-nilly colleagues to go along with it. To Hell with the police. To Hell with the citizens. If this measure comes to fruition, rest assured, innocent people will be robbed, raped, assaulted and killed by some of the criminals to be released. The Democrats in Sacramento could care less. This is part of their liberal ideology, which says that people in prison need to be on the streets. That's what it's all about. They would rather free the prisoners than build the prisons.

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