Judges tentatively order Calif. inmates released ("tens of thousands")

[/FONT]Judges order tens of thousands California inmates released… Developing…** **

Hmm…the news reporter dosen’t give any sources. How odd.

Still, if this is the true, it would be true not because of suicides, but because California is such debt, we wouldn’t be able to afford prisons. But, that’s just my opinion. I trust God to save my state.

Today on the TV news I heard that CA is talking about the need to release up to 40% of the prison population for financial reasons. Pretty scary since I doubt that many are “nonviolent” offenders.

Although their decision is not final, it does seem to point to what is to come.

If the state is ordered to reduce the prison population, it would likely be able to do so over two or three years, so it would not have to release large numbers of inmates at once. Some methods of cutting the population include limiting new admissions, changing policies so parole violators return to prison less frequently, and giving prisoners more time off of their sentences for good behavior and rehabilitation efforts.

The judges said these types of measures could save the state more than $900 million a year in prison costs, money that could be used by cities and counties to put those who otherwise would have gone to prison into local jails or treatment programs.

The state’s 33 prisons were designed for 84,000 inmates, and they now hold 158,000, nearly double their designed capacity. The rest of the 170,000 in the correctional system are in out-of-state prisons and other facilities. The judges found that with inmates crammed into institutions, they could not receive the care to which they are entitled under the U.S. Constitution.

In the ruling, the judges said they believe the state’s prisons can safely operate at 120% to 145% of their designed capacity. Based on the current prison population, that would mean a potential reduction of 36,000 to 57,000 inmates. They reserved the right to change their numbers and did not say when their final order might come.


State Atty. Gen. Jerry Brown called the ruling “the latest intrusion” on California’s prison system by the federal courts. In a statement, he labeled the order “a blunt instrument that does not recognize the imperatives of public safety, nor the challenges of incarcerating criminals, many of whom are deeply disturbed.”

When did Jerry Brown become an advocate for states’ rights?

For an economist’s analysis see Steven Levitt at the NY Times Freakonomics blog:

What does this mean for crime? If my estimates are correct, ultimately violent crime will be roughly 6 percent higher in California than it would have been absent the lawsuit. That is roughly 150 extra homicides a year, 500 additional rapes, and 4,500 more robberies.

While those crime numbers sound bad, according to my estimates, letting out the prisoners is more or less a wash from a societal cost-benefit perspective. The money we save from freeing the prisoners is on the same order of magnitude as the pain and suffering associated with the extra crime.

I’d be interested to know how one sets a value on the pain & suffering of a rape victim or the grief of a murder victim’s family.

Time to buy a gun. or two.

In the state that most wants to prevent private gun ownership???

Or has the People’s Republic of California come to its senses on the firearms laws…

They at least allow “may issue” with concealed-carry; that’s certainly better than what I have available to me in Illinois…

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.