Governor Jerry Brown called the prison emergency in California “over” this week in a press conference. He said that– though the state is a long way from reducing the prison population by 30,000 as the feds mandated—California can’t stop shoveling money into the “rathole of incarceration.” But according to critics, Brown has a lot of work to do and perhaps more responsibility than he realizes in putting a stop to the “rathole”. [Read more…]
The pressure is on county jails with the new imprisonment law. The law requires low-level offenders to serve their sentence in jail rather than prison, and it’s sending an influx of inmates into the county systems. In an effort to cope with the crowding, some county judges are doing their part to reduce the burden—by using something called a “split sentence.” [Read more…]
When California voters overwhelmingly supported a measure to soften the state’s Three Strikes Law, Mike Reynolds, the man whose daughter was an inspiration for the law called the passage “a great day for criminals and their attorneys.” He said he believed voters were misled and that the new, softer legislation would prevent some of the more dangerous criminals from being locked up. While he isn’t alone in his disapproval of Proposition 34, he is of the minority. And the majority spoke in favor.
Update: Citizens voted to strike down California’s punitive and costly 3 strikes law in 2012. Proposition 36 passed!
Under the new reforms, third strike mandatory life sentences are only applicable when the third felony conviction is “serious or violent”, or if the defendant was previously convicted of murder, rape, or child molestation.
Three strikes and you’re out! This saying took on a whole new meaning within California in the 1990’s. It went from something you would only hear at a baseball game to terms used to describe criminal sentencing and essentially locking people up and throwing away the key. Passed in 1994 by the legislature and the people of California, the Three Strikes Law has done more to increase spending and controversy than it has to reduce crime. [Read more…]