Sheila Kuehl: The approach adopted by this measure is like holding a gun to your head and shouting “Stop me before I hurt somebody!”
Diana Zuñiga: Voters overwhelmingly believe that California’s prisons and jails are overcrowded and want more alternatives to incarceration for non-violent offenders.
B. Cayenne Bird: The California legislature uses prisons and jails as a means by which to finance the bureaucracy. They use it for job creation and the $1.8 million that Brown took from CCPOA dictates his loyalty to the prison guards.
Anthony Samad: Los Angeles County’s best option is to overhaul the Probation Department. Put it in receivership like they did the Health Department and Children & Family Services.
Anthony Asadullah Samad: If California is serious at reducing its prison costs, ex-offenders will have to be re-trained and employers will have to be more tolerant of people trying to get their lives back on track. Is that even possible? One thing about American culture, as it relates to any offender, is that despite we profess to being a forgiving society, or want to redeem the best in those who have made mistakes, the truth of the matter is that it always lets the ex-offender know that they are just that, “ex-offenders.”
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.
The Assembly cannot agree on what seems like common sense to the rest of us: people who commit low-level crimes like petty theft and simple drug possession should be punished on the local level, not in prison cells at a cost of nearly $50,000 per person per year.