The latest polls from California show that most citizens are willing to reduce prison populations as long as public safety is not sacrificed. Over the last three years , we have watched Gov. Brown fight the federal courts about reducing the overcrowded prisons of California. In March, PrisonPath posted an alarming article about
“Dangerously Overcrowded Prisons.” Gov.Brown has elected to reduce the state overcrowded prisons by sending some inmates to county jails. This action by Gov. Brown is a band-aid relief measure and still does not solve the problem of overcrowded state prisons in California. It is time to reduce the excessive prison population by releasing low level non-violent inmates from prison. It is also time to use alternatives other than long prison sentences for nonviolent defendants.
Defendants with addictions should have their cases resolved through effective drug programs. Gov.Chris Christie has chosen that route for New Jersey. In addition to drug programs, the courts can impose longer and stricter community programs in addition to restitution as part of the sentences for nonviolent offenders. This common sense approach will keep the nonviolent from becoming career criminals and benefit society by reducing economic costs and non-economic costs damages.
For additional information from the Los Angeles Times about Gov. Brown and the California state prisons, read ‘Californians would go further than Gov. Brown to cut prison crowding.’