Wednesday, July 22, 2009

California will release older inmates to save medical costs

Via Doc Berman, the LA Times gives more detail about the final deal cut by lawmakers on slashing the California corrections budget, and I was interested to see they'd included an idea which drew a lively discussion on Grits yesterday about releasing older inmates to save money on medical expenses:

The prison plan would give state corrections officials authority to allow any inmate with 12 months or less on his or her sentence to serve the remaining time on home detention with electronic monitoring.

Inmates who are over 60 or medically incapacitated could also get home detention or be confined in a hospital. In addition, inmates who achieve milestones in rehabilitative programs, substance abuse treatment, vocational training or education could receive up to six weeks off their prison terms.

The plan includes Schwarzenegger's proposal to release and deport illegal immigrant felons, and a scaled-down version of another proposal of his to change some felonies to misdemeanors so inmates could be held in county jails instead of prisons. Sentences for property crimes also would be scaled back.

A "Parole Re-Entry Accountability Program" would reduce the state parole population by 46,000 -- more than a third of those now under supervision -- depending on their crimes and behavior. Those former prisoners convicted of the least serious crimes would not be subject to parole revocation that could return them to prison.

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

Atleast ONE govenor has a brain.. Perry will never go for it.. "It ain't Christian", "they'll violate Oysters", "they will become dildo salesmen" or "it will put the children at risk", or "his neighborhood will change complexion" or some other crap excuse. Can we PLEASE get rid of him this next election. I haven't paid attention to thing he has said in 5 years, but I really am offended by his face lately. And while we are at it, get rid of that asshat Abbott as well, he isn't good enough to use as a checker at H-E-B.

Anonymous said...

Deport illegals with felonies. LOL

I have never heard of such a stupid idea!! Before we deport them, we should make them promise not to come back! LOL

Ressu said...

Terrible idea. This is a formula for recidivism and homelessness. The taxpayers will foot the bill for these people one way or another. It shifts the tax burden from the State to the local county and so it is a regressive tax increase to the extent that poor counties will be hit hardest.

Prison ruins your career and even your ability to get a good job. So now we'll just hold people in jail until caring for them becomes too expensive and then we'll turn them loose where they'll have no means to care for themselves.

So now we'll just get an increase in the criminal homeless population and taxpayers pay for it with a higher crime rate, more shelter beds, more indigents at the county hospitals, and more PIs in the county jails.

Boyness said...

California! HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA

Anonymous said...

Some of that might be true 12:00 but CA simply can't afford to keep things the way they are. They must reduce their prison inmate population. At least, this is some sort of a plan rather than just an overall early release which in my opinion would be far worse for the taxpayers and those released.

Anonymous said...

Come again Ressu? how again is allowing the LOWEST age groups ex-cons out going to promote recidivism? Ofcourse you can;t just drop them off and say 'There are you!" You have to support them in some way, either by giving information and help attaining jobs, or through Social Services. But to say that allowing 55+ inmates to become half-way productive in an open society, even in a low rent job, is a bad thing, maybe you need to look at what they do IN prison..

sunray's wench said...

Ressu ~ you are assuming the older inmates will have no family support. While some will not, a lot of them will have somewhere to live and the chance of a job, even if it is just part time. Inmates of 55 and over are not the same as those aged 25 and under, their outlook is way different.

There are thousands of families willing to support, and obviously more importantly for you, pay for their loved ones to go home.

Texas Maverick said...

The most obvious rational has not been stated - If an older inmate is eligible for Medicare and Social Security, which many may be, why keep them in prison? Granted your federal taxes pay for their support, but you pay that anyway. Why pay the state and the fed? What will it take to replace the tough on crime talk with what is really meant, I'm better that that scum, I would never to that. I would caution people with holier than thou attitudes to "never say never," and replace with "But for the grace of God, there go I."

Rachel said...

Okay...so we're getting 27,000 inmates out of the prison population. I hope everyone is aware of the fact that when inmates are released from prison, they are given $200.00 of our tax payer money and put on a train. So let's see... 27,000 inmates X $200 each = $5,400,000.00 That's a start on the amount of money it is going to cost us to release these inmates from prison. Not to mention the recividism.

Anonymous said...

Rachel,
You need to check your facts, the "gate money" is a total of $100.00. If the releasee is a "servall", that is, having served the entire sentence, the amount at the gate is 100. If the releasee is on parole, they are given 50 bucks at the gate then 50 buck when they report to parole, usually within 24 hrs of release. Oh yeah, and a non-refundable bus ticket to the location on the parole plan, unless someone picks them up at the release location. Minor point but it adds up. And again I would remind all those out there to remember that "there but for the grace"....I have worked in the prison system as well as at halfway houses and not all the people who go to prison are open mouthed bottom feeders or run around molesting small furry animals. Some are people who make stupid decisions or hang out with the wrong crowd. Some are sociopaths who would kill you and not blink an eye but alot aren't and we are developing a whole sub-strata of people who cannot get a job or a drivers license or any sort of assistance when they may be trying desperately to start their life over. You can't legislate morality and alot of politicians don't understand that concept. Some of the laws are not deterents to crime, but they sure as heck can contribute to someone turning to a crime of despiration. I have seen it happen so don't tell me it can't or won't. Regards, Anonymous.

Anonymous said...

The marketing of public fear and demonization of prisoner release has a cynical, financial purpose. The prison and parole system in this state is big business--stuck on the teat of government largess. It doesn't want to wean! The system promotes (with heavy lobby)the atrophy of public ethics. Most prisoners are NOT sociopaths. Most have made mistakes, and they have paid for their crimes by doing the time. One of the biggest state costs is reincarceration for trivial parole and probation violations (note: parole violators receive no gate.) BTW drug treatment/re-entry/job skills programs, if managed properly, not only reduce recidivism , but overall Corrections/Rehab costs, policing, and court costs.

Anonymous said...

Wear housing inmates is what keeps them coming back. If they were taught independent life skills, educate them, teach them trades, and have a better Mental Health system, they probably would leave with hope. Build trade school in the cities where gang violence is heavy. They will see hope. It's amazing that you want to release men who have been in prison all their life with no or little skills. All they will do is reoffend to go back to a place of comfort for them; prison. These men and women need HOPE. Without hope they will be back in the prison system. What happened to the re-entry programs. Why build more prisons without more opportunities for imates to return back into a society and become successful. Anyone with a record is looked down on. Our governor is a great movie actor, acting as a governor isn't working for the people of California.