Monday, May 23, 2011

Supreme Court Orders Release of California Inmates

In a lawsuit that has been in the system for many years now, the Supreme Court today decided that the California Prison system needs to release 30% of all inmates. In case you were wondering, this includes at-risk releases.

The state of California has long had a problem with its prisons. For 20 years they have been overcrowded, and over time the problem has just exacerbated itself. The source of this problem, though, it the ridiculously high cost of housing an inmate in a California prison. Other states can keep an inmate for a fraction of the cost, but the state, for some reason, pays much more.

Obviously, the repercussions for the state could be horrible. Crime would project to rise and the streets would seem to become less safe. But what can be done? Why not contract out the service? For-profit prisons do not have to deal with public employee unions and are much more efficient. Furthermore, we can stop imprisoning non-violent offenders. How long does a kid in possession of marijuana really need to serve? Is he hurting anyone? It would seem that prison would actually make him more dangerous than the pot smoking would do. Who is that system helping?

Still, this is a sad day for California. As if things were not bad enough for the state, now it has to deal with what looks to be rising crime rates. And this comes a few weeks after the city of Los Angeles said it would cut police forces. Like a good company gone bad, is it just time for California to go bankrupt and start over again?


  1. Maybe the super liberal Hollwood stars will agree to house them. That would be social justice, don't you think?

  2. I think much of the problem is the failed war on drugs. How many are in prison for drug offenses. While I oppose the use of drugs, the way we have gone about combating the problem is not working.

    Then again, it's not meant to work. Our government (not conspiracy actually documented) has been a part of the drug trade for years. Meanwhile, American society has a higher incarceration rate than Mao's China or Stalin's Soviet Union.

  3. I live in Kalifornia and this is a terrible idea. Gov. Brown now is going to use this as an excuse to raise taxes.

  4. They should Jim. After all, they're all just innocent victims of the system.

    Yes Trestin, a lot of the problem is the inane war on drugs. A lot of non-violent kids turn violent with their prison sentence.

    Harrison, Jerry Brown was already losing the tax battle when tax receipts went up last month. I guess the war is not over. Politicians always try to scare us into approving tax hikes. Hopefully Howard Jarvis and other sources can keep the battle in our favor.