2007 January 26 Friday
Higher Salaries Pull Skilled Workers Into California Prisons

A single day reading the Los Angeles Times is enough to see the problems caused by the changing immigrant-driven demographics of California. Due to a court ordered increase in pay psychiatrists are flocking to the California penal system.

ATASCADERO Court orders mandating drastic pay increases for health personnel in California prisons have led to an exodus of workers from state mental hospitals and left the facilities struggling to provide adequate patient care.

Staff shortages at Atascadero State Hospital, where psychiatrist vacancies stand at 70%, have caused the facility to all but freeze new admissions.

All the state's mental hospitals, which like the prisons are also under federal scrutiny, report staff departures for prison jobs that now pay about 40% more. And they fear that many more staffers will leave.

Your government at work, wreaking havoc.

The pull to the prison system is strong. A psychiatrist at Atascadero can make between $13,000 and $14,000 a month, but those in the prison system can make between $19,000 and $21,000 a month.

Psychiatrists used to peak at $160k per year in California prisons. But with the court order they can peak at $248k per year in 2007 and at mental hospitals they peak at $143,460 per year. The state mental hospital salaries haven't gone up enough to keep psychiatric staff. Vacancies were 17% in 1990, 34% in 2000, and now 70% as of January 1 2007 and rising. My guess is salaries didn't keep up as money was funneled into schools in a futile attempt to pull up very low Hispanic test scores.

High salaries for prison workers, police, prosecutors, investigators, crime lab scientists, and others in the criminal justice system pull smart people away from lines of work that create wealth. Lower IQ people commit crimes at higher rates than high IQ people. As I've argued previously, low IQ immigrants pull smarter people away from more productive work. Court ordered salary increases for prison workers accelerate that process.

California needs to spend billions to expand its prison system.

SACRAMENTO Three decades of tough-on-crime lawmaking has sent California's prison system into a "tailspin," creating the most pressing crisis facing the state, the government's own watchdog panel declared Thursday.

In a blistering 84-page report, the nonpartisan Little Hoover Commission linked the problems plaguing the correctional system to political cowardice among governors and lawmakers fearful of being labeled soft on crime.

Immigration is driving California's population increase and the low IQ and low skilled immigrants commit crime at higher rates than the whites they are displacing. So the growing demand for prison staff, court workers, prosecuting attorneys, court-appointed defense attorneys, investigators, and other skilled workers is pulling higher IQ workers away from more productive occupations. Plus, the costs are a growing burden on higher productivity and higher income taxpayers.

The state's 33 prisons are packed to twice their intended capacity, with more than 16,000 inmates bunking in hallways, classrooms and other areas not designed as housing. Prison leaders say they will be out of room for new inmates by summer, and concern about riots is extremely high.

A federal judge, meanwhile, has given the state until June to relieve the crowding or face a possible cap on the inmate population, now about 172,000.

Though Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has unveiled an ambitious $10.9-billion prison building and reform plan, its fate in the Legislature is uncertain, and most of the proposed solutions would take years to enact.

We have a choice. Spend more and pull smarter people away from wealth creation. Or spend less and get murdered, raped, robbed, and defrauded more often by criminals. Why not adopt a tough and enforced immigration policy that stops and reverses the influx of low IQ people? Why inflict these burdens on ourselves?

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2007 January 26 09:18 PM  Immigration Economics

John S Bolton said at January 28, 2007 4:14 PM:

A reciprocating downward influence like that is so destructive, that one has to wonder if whether deliberate malice is not also implicated.

crush41 said at January 29, 2007 7:04 PM:

A state's estimated IQ and its murder rate correlate at an astounding .78. Keep in mind that .60 is considered a vigorous relationship in the world of the social sciences.

Jared Taylor captures the inanity well in a recent VDare column:

We claim to be fighting poverty, but we import poor people. We claim to be fighting school failure but we import dropouts. We claim to be fighting disease, but we import tuberculosis and plague. We claim to be fighting crime, but we import people with high crime rates. This is baffling for anyone not in the uplift business and afraid of running out of work.

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