State prisoner decline stalls

November 1, 2012

California judges are proving to be the biggest impediment to officials’ mandated efforts to reduce state prison populations. (Los Angeles Times)

An analysis of plans by California administration and prison officials to comply with a federal court order is faltering, partly because judges continue to sentence low-level felons to prison, rather than to county jails.

The objective has been to shave the numbers of prison inmates and lessen the impact of overcrowding by shifting low-threat prisoners to county and other local lockups by a deadline of June 30, 2013. According to the Times’ report, there will be about 7,000 more prisoners in state institutions than allowed on that date. The reduction aims to result in a total population of 112,032 inmates in prisons built to house 81,000.

California’s relatively harsh sentencing guidelines, by which judges are bound, have created a situation where inmates from California are shipped to out-of-state, for-profit prisons, at state taxpayer expense. This is a practice Gov. Jerry Brown has said he wants to halt.



  1. CommonSenseMama says:

    This is just another band aid, that isn’t actually dealing with any problems. (Just like saving money by eliminating the death penalty)

    The real issue is the amount we are spending on criminals and the outcome we are receiving- more than 60% re-offend rate, 6 X more spent on prisons than education. Our current system is not working.

    Laws and regulations are excessive. Consequences for severe crimes are comfortably cushioned. It is no wonder why our prisons are overflowing.

    (8) 10 Total Votes - 9 up - 1 down
  2. SLOBIRD says:

    Just ask the family from Downey, Ca last week that advertised a Camaro car on Craigslist’s and a parolee shows up and kills three wounds two family members and steals the car? He was on probation after second degree robbery, he had been previously stopped, detained, and then released this past summer for carrying a fireman. Another upstanding 30 year old member of the Rollin 40s crips group, unemployed and thought he deserved a 2010 Chevrolet Camaro on Cragislist for free.

    (13) 13 Total Votes - 13 up - 0 down
  3. danika says:

    It doesn’t really take much to become a prisoner today. It is illegal to annoy a teenager. While this offense might not be punishable by imprisonment, it certainly reflects the attitude we have today. I am all for punishing the guilty but some “crimes” are just way out there. We should reflect on WHY our prisons are overcrowded to the point of out of state private prison contracts.

    (14) 16 Total Votes - 15 up - 1 down
    • photocal says:

      danika…………… Think about it.. maybe were sending the wrong people to jail ? There are a whole lot of people walking the streets, free as a bird, that have done a lot of worse things than those in the can Their called politicans !

      (6) 8 Total Votes - 7 up - 1 down
    • Robert1 says:

      Maybe we deport back to the home countries the ones that don’t belong here as long as the home country agrees to lock up the criminal, if they don’t we suspend travel and trade with them.
      You pay nearly $1B a year to house illegal immigrant prisoners

      (13) 13 Total Votes - 13 up - 0 down
  4. Mr. Holly says:

    I wonder who is going to take the credit for letting these “low level felons” loose when they rob, rape, burglarize or kill somebody when they are let loose?
    Will the do gooders step up to the plate then?

    (14) 14 Total Votes - 14 up - 0 down
    • photocal says:

      Holly…. Wrong term…. not low level felons… just “low lifes.” Simply put….they didnt have a gun… so no-one was shot. No Im not for gun control just look what happened in post-world war Germany. Time a lot of people grew up and assume some responsibil\ty for their non-thinking moments.

      (6) 6 Total Votes - 6 up - 0 down
  5. eradicate ignorance says:

    Everyone says we need to lower our prison population but nobody want to be the person who actually lets prisoners out early.

    (3) 7 Total Votes - 5 up - 2 down
  6. abigchocoholic says:

    “partly because judges continue to sentence low-level felons to prison”
    low level felons? I’ve got to hear this one. What in the world is a low level felon? Is that a person who committed a felony against someone else rather than you?

    A felon is someone who committed a felony. A felony is a serious crime that subjects someone to confinement for a minimum of one year.

    Go ahead, let’s hear about all these low level felons who shouldn’t have to do their hard time for their serious crime.

    (9) 17 Total Votes - 13 up - 4 down
    • SLOBIRD says:

      Bad enough they don’t do their time and now you want “hard time” for them too! Crime is paying because the consequences don’t relate to the time and punishment don’t relate to the crime. And their mama’s, wife, significant others, children, etc get great benefits from us taxpayers (housing, food stamps, medical, spending money, etc) for these low lifers sitting in jail. My guess is the return rate is 50 to 75%, if not higher.

      (9) 9 Total Votes - 9 up - 0 down
    • OnTheOtherHand says:

      They are referring to people who commit crimes which are called felonies but which often are not that serious. We have a problem with passing ill-considered or poorly-worded laws that allow cops and prosecutors to interpret relatively minor acts as felonies. An example would be that public urination can be called a sex crime (indecent exposure) in some places. To me, that kind of crime justifies a night or two in a cell not a year or two or hard time plus permanent status as a sex offender.

      (-1) 9 Total Votes - 4 up - 5 down
      • photocal says:

        If in a public place, not a rest room, and that person was urinating on Your other hand, You might re-consider Your thoughts about this. Most of Us were potty trained at an early age… and would plan ahead. But…. I guess its OK in downtown SLO.

        (3) 5 Total Votes - 4 up - 1 down

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