Friday, October 06, 2006

CA to let parolees earn their way off supervision

Very smart! Arnold Schwarzenegger just signed a bill in California to allow nonviolent felons to earn their way off parole through completion of a drug treatment program ("Schwarzenegger signs bill allowing shorter parole in exchange for drug treatment," LA Times, Oct. 4). That's a good idea. It'll give nonviolent parolees new incentives for good behavior, while letting parole officers focus attention on their more dangerous charges. Mark Godsey at CrimProf Blog explains the details:
Under the law, which takes effect in January, only ex-convicts who were serving time for nonviolent crimes — such as drug or property offenses — and have completed at least six months of addiction treatment in prison will be eligible. No one convicted of a sex offense will qualify.

Once released, eligible parolees who wish to participate will be sent directly to a residential drug treatment program for five months. If they graduate, they will immediately be freed from parole supervision.
UPDATE: Ouch! Just to add a little yang to your yin, while the Governornator did the right thing on this bill with parolees, I discover from The Truth About False Confessions that he also recently vetoed legislation to record police interrogations. Hrrruumph! Always half a loaf.

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