“I’m back.” No, not Manny. CA prisoners shortly after release

On top of California having a house of cards budget, we also have a mandate from a US District Court to release 43,000 of our current prison population of 158,000 inmates over the next two years due to overcrowding in our state prisons. Governor Schwarzenegger has 45 days in which to come up with a plan. The catalyst for this mandate relates to the alleged “unconstitutional prison health care system.”

But wait a minute. Having listened to the commercial featuring LA Dodgers slugger Manny Ramirez saying “I’m back” you should also acknowledge that 70 percent of these soon to be released prisoners will be back in custody. That’s right. The recidivism rate in CA, the highest in the nation, is around 70 percent.  In CA 7 out of 10 released prisoners return within three years of their release date.

Note: Recidivism representing the percentage of former prisoners who are re-arrested. Therefore to speed up prisoners entry and discharge, we should install revolving doors at each of our prison entrances.

California has 32 state prisons located from Pelican Bay near the Oregon border, “designed to house California’s most serious criminal offenders,” to the R.J. Donovan Correctional Facility in San Diego.
Let’s see. Manny was suspended for 50 games which translated into roughly 60 calendar days. I would opine that many of the soon to be released prisoners would be back in the courts in less time than it took before Manny ran to his position in left field at Chavez Ravine.

While we have heard many suggestions for solving this housing crisis, such as sending them to Sheriff Joe Arpaio in Arizona or to Mexican jails where incarceration costs would be considerably less, what recommendations do Juice drinkers have for our governor?

Like Manny they will return. While it may not be on Arnold’s watch early release will not solve the bigger problem in our state of making sure that “if you do the crime you’ll do the time” which is costing taxpayers around $36,000 per year per inmate.
As I copy Arnold on all of my posts where he is named I will gladly forward your comments to his office.


About Larry Gilbert