Governor Jerry Brown’s plan to ease state prison overcrowding has created other problems.
Now, county jails that are not built to hold long-term prisoners are being forced to take felons with long sentences. Sheriffs say that these prisoners pose security threats and are more than the jails can handle.
Though it is good to think of solutions to overcrowding, it is irresponsible to send dangerous criminals to facilities that are not equipped to hold them.
In response to a federal court order to reduce California’s prison population, governor Jerry Brown proposed a $315 million plan to send inmates to vacant county cells and private prisons. He hopes to avoid what he says would be a mass release of dangerous felons.
Brown says that public safety is paramount and that the state has the money to implement the plan.
Whatever happened to enhancing the probation system and having one-on-one probation officers to help in the rehabilitation process? What about teaching working skills in jails and prisons like they did in the 50’s so inmates can earn a living and become productive citizens? The prison system needs an overhaul, but one must question if this is the right way to do it.
“On September 27, 2012, the UT San Diego News contained an article in which a defendant pled guilty and was sentenced to 16 years in State Prison for an August 2011 kidnapping and rape of a 21 year old woman, who testified in the Preliminary Hearing that he beat her with a flashlight and golf club, then forced her into a car, ordered her to remove her clothes and used the golf club to assault her. In another count filed against the defendant, he pled guilty to breaking the nose of a man and knocking unconscious that man’s son thereby causing bleeding in his brain. Some will argue that 16 years in prison is not enough of a penalty, but they do not have all of the facts to reach that conclusion. This is the challenge when reading a brief summary written in the news. I continue to ask why a journalist does not provide a fair and balanced account so that the public is truly informed by the news. Clearly, there is a limited amount of time and opportunity for comment, however, no one benefits from a story that does not contain enough information on the relevant points; here, it would be helpful to know what the defense contended, the cross-examination it might conduct, and what evidence they might propound if the matter went to trial. That would reduce the speculation that inevitably arises in many readers’ minds as to the nature of the crime, the motivation and intent of the defendant, and the appropriateness of the sentence in an individual case.”
Sam Spital, Criminal Defense Lawyer