Lizzie Buchen: Keeping low-risk inmates behind bars does not enhance public safety; in fact, doing so may endanger the public, as excessive prison terms hamper reentry, damage families, and weaken communities.
Marian Wang: In some cases, a person may be able to show that advances were unwelcome even though he or she didn’t protest or say so at the time. “Consensual” isn’t the same thing as ”welcome,” experts say.
Michele Waslin: Despite the clear facts, radio-show hosts, politicians, and immigration restrictionists still want you to believe that cities receiving SCAAP reimbursements are providing “sanctuary” to criminals. Maybe next they’ll try to convince you immigrants are responsible for global warming and teenage obesity—wait, been there, done that.
Ramona Ripston: The California Supreme Court ‘sentenced’ our state’s taxpayers to an additional debt of $180,000 more per year last week.
Friday Feedback: People are understandably appalled when violent offenders get early release and go on to commit horrendous crimes, including the recent murder of Chelsea King for which a parolee has been arrested. What is less understood is that thousands of people — including juveniles as young as 13 — are being handed life sentences, including life without any possibility of parole.
David A. Love: America’s criminal justice system certainly is disproportional. In the land of the free, 5 percent of the world’s population boasts 25 percent of the world’s prisoners. Bad drug laws and sentencing guidelines fill the prison cells with nonviolent offenders. The vast majority of these prisoners are black and Latino, not to mention poor and uneducated. The vast majority of the judges and lawyers are white.
You know how much a visit means to someone who’s locked up. And you know that one of the major factors that prevents recidivism is for a prisoner to retain family and community ties. So you set the alarm and get up early and out of the house by 5:00 a.m. to drive the three hours up the Central Valley so you can be one of the first non-appointment visitors milling around waiting to be called.
The incoming Administration is to be lauded for its intention to dismantle the Guantánamo Bay prison, whose very existence, let alone the activities reportedly carried out within it, undermine the U.S.’s claim of promoting democracy and human rights. But if prisoners’ rights are evidently so important, and if we seem to agree that we are [...]