California governor wants to let more felons out of prison
by Marty Carlson
Scott Kernan, who is a California secretary of corrections told an editorial board in a meeting in Sacramento last Thursday, when he retired from the corrections system in 2011 there was 173,000 inmates in the state prisons.
He stated while he was running his consulting business the number of inmates dropped dramatically.
Three federal judges on a panel had ordered California to downsize its prison population and to alleviate overcrowding. The Supreme Court upheld that ruling in 2011. Gov. Jerry Brown’s realignment plan moves the problems of incarceration for nonviolent, nonserious and nonsexual offenders from state prisons the county jails.
In 2014 the idiot California voters voted in proposition 47, which takes the status of many property and drug crimes from felonies to misdemeanors and took effect retroactively. Thousands of state prison inmates were released into the general population and now there are approximately hundred 27,000 inmates in the system.
With about 40,000 fewer inmates you would think the system would have a budget with the spending levels going down. Apparently that is not the case, the Brown administration promised billions in savings, but obviously the savings never came to be. The state prison in rehabilitation program budget was $9.5 billion in 2011 to 2012 year. Last year it was $11.8 billion – $2 billion more than what the state spent before the release of inmates and $4 billion more than what the governor had promised.
Mr. Kernan says it would have been considerably higher without the inmate reductions. Increase pay, and spending on inmate health and mental health care, all ordered by federal judges affected the costs. The notions that it would save billions of dollars over the years Kernan stated was an unreasonable expectation.
Now Gov. Brown has a new plan, is going to reduce the prison population even further he has drafted a ballot measure, the public safety and rehabilitation act of 2016.
Personally I think the initiative should be called the dangerous streets act in a backward step to lenient sentencing to California’s violent and serious criminals. And I never thought it could happen but I agree with former Gov. Pete Wilson when that’s exactly how he described it.
The criminal Justice legal foundation sees Brown’s plan is that total dissection of California’s landmark three strikes sentencing law in the states victims Bill of Rights. They were successful measures that enhanced penalties for repeat offenders and career criminals. They also believe the realignment, A.B. 109, and prop 47, have released too many bad guys and have not helped get drug addicted people the proper help that they need.
Some of the latest FBI crime statistics for California cities, that have filed them, found a 12.9% increase in violent crime and 9.3% jump in property crimes in the first six months of prop 47 was in effect.
Now I am aware the one year does not make a trend but I think we do need to look at what we have done here and where we want to be.
Chuck DeVore, a sentencing reform advocate in Texas and was once a former California legislature is aware of the spike in California crime. But he states that one year does not make a trend it’s something to you got to look at and it’s too early to tell.
Okay maybe he has a good point maybe the crime bump will recede and 2015 was an anomaly, then again was it? Experts are saying it’s too early to tell if prop 47 is behind the crime bump, now that crime is up, is now not the time to put forth a ballot measure to reduce the sentencing of serious repeat offenders.
Now remember Gov. Brown promises big savings if a sentence reduction measure passes. He promised so same savings when prop 47 passed. How long are the idiot voters gonna swallow all this drivel, seriously?
And as Mr. Kernan noted the savings is in closing prisons not just decriminalizing the justice system. And to this point no prisons have been closed as of yet.
Now the current political climate and the looming elections also has all these people in the clown car, called politicians, talking about not incarcerating young people for smoking marijuana. In California it ain’t happening anyway.
According to the California Department of Corrections .2% of state inmates are serving time for selling marijuana or possession for sale. Now make a big deal about your argument so you can smoke dope, but the offenders that are imprisoned for crimes that involved marijuana have done much more than simply smoke a joint to make it in there.
As usual this governor doesn’t seem to be able to see things clearly, just like the voters. They promise big savings a promise big things they promise but very seldom deliver just like in the savings for these propositions that we’ve had the last couple years.
Gov. Brown is unable to run for governor again so maybe he’s trying to establish himself or another run for another position I certainly have no idea. But it appears that the lobbyists and the idiot voters in the state are more than willing to keep voting for him.