A while back, the state of California was ordered to reduce its prison population by some 40,000 inmates. California objected and took it to court. Today, they were ordered to follow through and reduce the population of the prisons.
Okay, fine. How? Are we supposed to just release felons onto the street? Is that what we’re being asked to do? That is going to put the residents of the state in danger. Forty-thousand convicted inmates, released just because?
I don’t understand the logic. It would make more sense for the state to be ordered to build more prisons, but that isn’t what happened. That’s probably a good thing since the state is in a fiscal crisis that doesn’t seem to have an end in sight.
Not long ago, the governor attempted to ship out prisoners to another state. That didn’t go over so well, either.
What are we supposed to do? Forty-thousand inmates are a lot of unpredictability to add to a population, especially one where jobs are so hard to find. How many of these released inmates are actually going to find a job when they are competing with others who have a clean slate and a recent job history that doesn’t include time in a prison? Not many.
What will happen is that the majority of these prisoners will re-offend. People will be hurt, injured, and maybe even killed. An inmate who might have had a shot of rehabilitation after serving their full term is going to end up in a pointless and precarious position not of his (or hers) own making. Feeling closed in, they are going to act, and when they do, everyone is going to suffer.
This is a crazy mandate that California has been ordered to meet. It’s certifiably insane, and it’s going to lead to disaster.