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Author Topic: U.S. court : California must cut prison population (43K criminals headed at us)  (Read 3414 times)
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JohnBrowdie
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« on: August 05, 2009, 01:40:00 am »

when I first read this headline, I initially assumed that it was the 9th circuit up to it's old games again, but it is apparently a different panel.  my favorite quote from a different story about the ruling:

The 185-page opinion also accused the state of fostering "criminogenic" conditions, compelling former prisoners to commit more crimes and feed a cycle of recidivism.

this is just brazen social engineering by a pack of deranged judges.  the people in california prisons did something to deserve being there.  what about the public's safety? 

I predict that you will be able to measure the lifespan of this ruling with a stopwatch. 

Quote
U.S. ruling: State must cut prison population

(08-04) 21:12 PDT  -- A federal court panel ordered California today to reduce the population of its bulging prisons by 40,000 over the next two years to meet constitutional standards for inmate health care and said it could be done without releasing dangerous prisoners to the streets.

"The convergence of tough-on-crime policies and an unwillingness to expend the necessary funds to support the population growth has brought California's prisons to the breaking point," the three-judge panel said. Unless the courts intervene, the panel said, inmates will continue to suffer and die needlessly because prisons lack the space and the staff to treat them.

By changing parole practices and releasing some low-risk inmates to local custody, treatment programs or electronic monitoring, the prison population can be reduced "without a meaningful adverse impact on public safety," the judges said.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's administration immediately announced that it would appeal the decision to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The state needs to reduce prison crowding on its own, by lowering the inmate population and building more prisons, but "we just don't think the federal courts should be ordering us to take those steps," state Corrections Secretary Matthew Cate said.

Don Specter, a lawyer for prisoners who sued the state over health care, said the ruling allows California to "finally fix the horrible problems caused by prison overcrowding, and do so in a way that will not harm public safety but will make us all safer."

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« Reply #1 on: August 06, 2009, 01:51:17 am »

public safety is being sacrificed to some hypothetical and subjective definition of "fair" as it applies to convicted criminals, of all people.

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JohnBrowdie
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« Reply #2 on: August 06, 2009, 10:28:41 am »


ok, so the people what were put away because they endangered the public safety are going to be released because they aren't comfortable enough so they can endanger public safety again.

this couldn't be more forked up.

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Vonne
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« Reply #3 on: August 06, 2009, 07:58:28 pm »

ok, so the people what were put away because they endangered the public safety...

That may be a shaky premise to pen your logic or position on.  Especially in California's case, with Proposition 184 and drug addiction.
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Miss Mia
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« Reply #4 on: August 06, 2009, 08:06:35 pm »

That may be a shaky premise to pen your logic or position on.  Especially in California's case, with Proposition 184 and drug addiction.


Agreed.
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JohnBrowdie
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« Reply #5 on: August 07, 2009, 12:37:09 am »

That may be a shaky premise to pen your logic or position on.  Especially in California's case, with Proposition 184 and drug addiction.

this oughta be a cool discussion. Wink

I believe there was a correlation between implementing the three strikes law in 1994 and a decrease in california's rather rampant crime rate.  (CA crime statistics) you would have to start any assessment there.  I'll concede your proposition is that the combination of three strikes and stiff drug laws caught some non-violent offenders up in it's web, but surely a large portion, if not the majority of the people incarcerated for drug offenses have violent crimes on their records. 

the release of 43K convicts from california prisons will inevitably lead to the release of a significant number of seriously violent offenders, there is no way around it.  bureaucratic inefficiency and incompetence demands it.  I just don't see how releasing a huge number of people back into the public that were put away because they committed crimes serious enough to be put into prison in the first place can be considered a good thing.

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Miss Mia
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« Reply #6 on: August 07, 2009, 12:55:15 am »

Minor drug offenses and even three of those leading to three strikes, I don't worry about those guys being released.

And while you say there's a correlation to a drop in the crime rate to the passage of the 3 strikes, the same was presented in Freakonomics with crime and abortion. 
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JohnBrowdie
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« Reply #7 on: August 07, 2009, 01:04:17 am »

Minor drug offenses and even three of those leading to three strikes, I don't worry about those guys being released.

And while you say there's a correlation to a drop in the crime rate to the passage of the 3 strikes, the same was presented in Freakonomics with crime and abortion. 

I don't think minor drug offenses qualify as a "strike", depending on your definition of "minor", of course.   Cool

um, I think it's widely accepted by just about everyone that there is a relationship between crime rates and the severity of punishment.  the entire "crime vs. abortion" debate is waaaaaaaaaaaay outside the scope of the issue we are discussing.  there is also a positive relationship between vegetarians and crime rates.  I didn't bring it up because I don't think it applies here.

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Miss Mia
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« Reply #8 on: August 07, 2009, 01:21:24 am »

I don't think minor drug offenses qualify as a "strike", depending on your definition of "minor", of course.   Cool

um, I think it's widely accepted by just about everyone that there is a relationship between crime rates and the severity of punishment.  the entire "crime vs. abortion" debate is waaaaaaaaaaaay outside the scope of the issue we are discussing.  there is also a positive relationship between vegetarians and crime rates.  I didn't bring it up because I don't think it applies here.



I'm just saying there are probably quite a few people that can be released from prison that aren't a "threat to society."  I'll even say, I had an uncle in state prison for drug offenses and at no point was he ever a "threat to society."
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JohnBrowdie
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« Reply #9 on: August 07, 2009, 12:13:23 pm »

I'm just saying there are probably quite a few people that can be released from prison that aren't a "threat to society."  I'll even say, I had an uncle in state prison for drug offenses and at no point was he ever a "threat to society."

your uncles peaceful streak notwithstanding, releasing 43,000 convicts from prison inarguably represents increased danger to public safety.  the only question is how large an increased threat.  I just don't understand how anyone would attempt to argue the point.

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Vonne
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« Reply #10 on: August 08, 2009, 11:01:06 pm »

this oughta be a cool discussion. Wink

Indeed, I hope so!  I always thoroughly enjoy a festive discussion, as long as it doesn't regress into a pointless argument or personal attacks.  Regardless of the merit or position of other people's thoughts, views, and idea... I enjoy hearing other people's opinions and equally so, why they have them.

Quote from: John Browdie
I don't think minor drug offenses qualify as a "strike", depending on your definition of "minor", of course.

While defining what constitutes a "minor" drug offense, from our personal perspectives could be quite interesting and vary significantly.  Legally, I think you'd be taken back by how many people are in either jail or prison for not insignificant stretches of time, for possession of merely one joint.  I'm not sure how much more "minor" one could go, than that.   

Quote from: John Browdie
um, I think it's widely accepted by just about everyone that there is a relationship between crime rates and the severity of punishment.

While there certainly is an accepted relationship, between crime rates and the severity of punishments.  The significance of such, is still heavily debated and inconclusive IMO.  The simple matter is, that those whom possess a criminal mentality, have a criminal mentality.

Quote from: John Browdie
he entire "crime vs. abortion" debate is waaaaaaaaaaaay outside the scope of the issue we are discussing.  there is also a positive relationship between vegetarians and crime rates.  I didn't bring it up because I don't think it applies here.

I believe you're missing the point that Mia was attempting to make.  Perhaps it's presumptuous on my behalf, but I believe Mia pointed out Levitt's studies because they brought significant doubts to the new policing tactics of that era, such as the three strikes law.  It's a fun book for a quick read, with quite a few diverse and interesting case studies.

Quote from: John Browdie
your uncles peaceful streak not withstanding,releasing 43,000 convicts from prison inarguably represents increased danger to public safety.  the only question is how large an increased threat.  I just don't understand how anyone would attempt to argue the point.

The increased risk to public safety, only exists at a significantly elevated risk, if you base your views on your initial presumption:

people what were put away because they endangered the public safety...

If you accept that not everyone in jail or prison was placed in there for endangering the publics safety.  Which you've acknowledged with the exception of Mia's uncle.  Than it would certainly be possible to release, carefully screened, convicts and not elevate the danger to the public.

If you're basing your view on even a non-significant elevation of risk being unacceptable, than discussions are mute.  As adding any increase to a population, could have a non-significant, increase in danger to the public.
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Vonne
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« Reply #11 on: August 08, 2009, 11:03:28 pm »

I'll even say, I had an uncle in state prison for drug offenses and at no point was he ever a "threat to society."

Gasp, you hippy!
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Miss Mia
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« Reply #12 on: August 09, 2009, 02:04:37 pm »

I believe you're missing the point that Mia was attempting to make.  Perhaps it's presumptuous on my behalf, but I believe Mia pointed out Levitt's studies because they brought significant doubts to the new policing tactics of that era, such as the three strikes law.  It's a fun book for a quick read, with quite a few diverse and interesting case studies.

Yes, that's exactly what I was pointing out. 

Gasp, you hippy!

I'll say that he straightened up his life after being in prison.  He was in a minimum security facility. 
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JohnBrowdie
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« Reply #13 on: August 10, 2009, 03:09:50 pm »

Indeed, I hope so!  I always thoroughly enjoy a festive discussion, as long as it doesn't regress into a pointless argument or personal attacks.  Regardless of the merit or position of other people's thoughts, views, and idea... I enjoy hearing other people's opinions and equally so, why they have them.

While defining what constitutes a "minor" drug offense, from our personal perspectives could be quite interesting and vary significantly.  Legally, I think you'd be taken back by how many people are in either jail or prison for not insignificant stretches of time, for possession of merely one joint.  I'm not sure how much more "minor" one could go, than that.   

While there certainly is an accepted relationship, between crime rates and the severity of punishments.  The significance of such, is still heavily debated and inconclusive IMO.  The simple matter is, that those whom possess a criminal mentality, have a criminal mentality.

I believe you're missing the point that Mia was attempting to make.  Perhaps it's presumptuous on my behalf, but I believe Mia pointed out Levitt's studies because they brought significant doubts to the new policing tactics of that era, such as the three strikes law.  It's a fun book for a quick read, with quite a few diverse and interesting case studies.

The increased risk to public safety, only exists at a significantly elevated risk, if you base your views on your initial presumption:

people what were put away because they endangered the public safety...

If you accept that not everyone in jail or prison was placed in there for endangering the publics safety.  Which you've acknowledged with the exception of Mia's uncle.  Than it would certainly be possible to release, carefully screened, convicts and not elevate the danger to the public.

If you're basing your view on even a non-significant elevation of risk being unacceptable, than discussions are mute.  As adding any increase to a population, could have a non-significant, increase in danger to the public.

I am neither ignoring nor evading.  just winding up. Wink
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JohnBrowdie
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« Reply #14 on: August 10, 2009, 04:13:18 pm »


I did run across this earlier today.  more evidence of the federal court system not understanding what prisons are for, or how they work.

Quote
Black-Latino tensions blamed for Chino prison riot

State officials today said a riot that left scores injured and a dormitory burned at a Chino prison was the result of racial tensions between black and Latinos prisoners and announced 1,100 inmates were being moved to other facilities.

La-me-chinoprison-tn Terry Thornton, a spokeswoman for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, said officials are still trying to determine exactly what sparked the violence, which damaged a unit that holds 1,300 inmates, but that race was clearly a factor.

“It was a very violent incident,” Thornton said. “We’re still trying to figure out why.”

Following a 2005 Supreme Court decision that found routine racial segregation to be illegal, Chino and other California prisons are moving away from the historic practice of separating inmates by race. Inmates may now share cells with prisoners of different races.

The barracks involved in the rioting had been fully integrated.

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