Can early parole for sick prisoners help save California’s budget?

Is this prisoner really a threat to anyone?

I have written before about how much money our state could save by getting rid of the death penalty and reforming three strikes.  And now yet another idea has cropped up regarding our prisons that could save even more.

SB 1399 (Leno) would establish a medical parole program for the state’s most seriously ill prisoners, according to the Public CEO blog.

From a fiscal perspective, the bill would relieve the state of the cost of guarding inmates around the clock in hospitals – an arguably imprudent use of scarce state resources, particularly if one considers that the inmates eligible for medical parole are, for example, unable to perform basic daily functions; have experienced full loss of muscle control or neurological function; are in a persistent vegetative state; or are terminally ill. A quick update on the bill as we head in to the last month of legislative activity.

As a refresher, Senator Leno’s measure would put in place a process and decision-making criteria allowing the state to grant medical parole to those determined to be physically or cognitively debilitate or incapacitated. Certain offenders would not be eligible for the program, as specified, including condemned inmates and those sentenced to life without the possibility of parole. In addition, the Board of Parole Hearings could only accord the medical parole status to those inmates who would not reasonably pose a threat to public safety.

Sounds good to me.  Most elected Democrats will probably oppose this. What a shame!

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