2009 February 10 Tuesday
Federal Judges Want 40% Cut In California Prison Population

Time to move.

(CNN) -- Federal judges tentatively ruled on Monday that California must reduce the number of inmates in its overcrowded prison system by up to 40 percent to stop a constitutional violation of prisoners' rights.

This is an erroneous statement:

"Overcrowding is the primary cause of the unconstitutional conditions that have been found to exist in the California prisons," the court concluded.

No, immigration is the primary cause of the overcrowding. A less criminal and smarter population could afford to build more prisons even as fewer people would become criminals.

California's ongoing fiscal crisis makes maintaining the prison population very difficult. A court order to cut overcrowding would put a lot of criminals out on the street.

Former governor Moonbeam, perhaps chastened by his experience as Mayor of Oakland, comes down on the side of sanity.

The California attorney general, Jerry Brown, vowed to appeal the ruling.

“This order, the latest intrusion by the federal judiciary into California’s prison system, is a blunt instrument that does not recognize the imperatives of public safety, nor the challenges of incarcerating criminals, many of whom are deeply disturbed,” Mr. Brown said in a statement.

Deeply disturbed? How about dangerous and evil? I think we need more morally absolutist Mormons on the federal bench for California.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2009 February 10 12:31 AM  Civilizations Decay

Ned said at February 10, 2009 6:57 AM:

Will wonders never cease? It looks like even ultraliberal Jerry Brown is developing some sense in his old age. So he doesn't like "intrusions by the federal judiciary" in California's prison system, huh? Where was he when the federal courts trashed public education with forced busing? How about all the lawsuits by wacko environmentalists that delay needed projects by years, if not decades? And I wonder how Jerry feels about Kelo? Things look a bit different when you ahve to deal with the unpleasant consequences of judge-made law.

miles said at February 10, 2009 4:22 PM:

Can you imagine the insanity of letting 40% of the prisoners out DURING A RECESSION?

There will be, if things dont stop degrading, in CaliPornia, a tipping point at which the state's productive citizens start leaving en masse FOR REAL. The goose that lays the golden egg can just leave and then real estate prices can -really- drop. Solution is simple, build more and larger prisons.

Of course it would be cheaper to sen the illegals back home and build a wall so that none of this would be necessary at all, but that makes way too much sense to contemplate.

Shay said at February 11, 2009 5:05 AM:

What percent of these people are merely marijuana offenders? What a waste of time, space, money, and lives! Let them out!

Bob Badour said at February 18, 2009 7:55 AM:

Hi Shay,

From the Offender Information Reports published by the State of California we can find the Semi-Annual Characteristics of Inmate Population, which gives us the information we need to answer your question.

If we include hashish with marijuana, the total of all prisoners imprisoned only for marijuana is 1,518 out of a total prison population of 171,069, which works out to less than 0.9%. After California releases the marijuana offenders, who are the additional 53,500 offenders they should release?

Even if they release all drug offenders and all other offenders who did not commit property crimes or crimes against persons, the total only comes to 46,873 leaving California about 13,000 releases short. That's 13,000 additional criminals on the street who might commit a crime against you or your property.

Let's assume we only want to release inmates who have no history of serious or violent crime. Only 49,885 inmates have no current or prior serious/violent flags, leaving California with the obligation to release an additional 5,000 inmates who commit serious or violent crimes. That's potentially a serious or violent crime against you or your property.

Isn't that special? Isn't it wonderful California has judges to protect you^H^H^Hthe convicts?

Bob Badour said at February 18, 2009 7:12 PM:

I just noticed this. Judges want California to release 55,000 prisoners, and a US Commander says we need another 55,000 troops in Afghanistan.

Is that a match made in heaven or what? California can release 55,000 prisoners to Afghanistan!

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