Sunday, June 28, 2009
Wait Listed by Jail-7
"California spent the past two decades making criminals pay ever-higher prices for their misdeeds, with stricter enforcement and stiffer sentences. Now, the high price of housing its inmate population has the cash-strapped state looking to dump thousands of future convicts into crowded local jails. ... The governor wants to change sentencing guidelines so that offenders who commit such low-level felonies as auto theft or drug possession could be charged only with misdemeanors--allowing them to serve sentences in county jails instead of state prisons. ... Changing sentencing guidelines would eventually steer 20,000 inmates away from state prisons to county jails, Mr. Schwarzenegger estimates. California's county jails now hold about 80,000 inmates, according to the state Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. ... Local governments are hurting for money as badly as the state is--with some of the pain coming as a result of reduced state funding. Many have cut budgets for their own local jails and detention facilities. ... The state spends $10 billion a year on its 33 prisons, which house about 160,000 inmates", Bobby White at the WSJ, 13 June 2009, link: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124485349609411619.html.
That waiting list for jail grows daily. $10 billion, 160,000, or $62,500 per inmate year. My idea: let California send 'em all to Harvard. Just think how "diverse" Harvard will be then. It will be Harvard's answer to Mao's 1966 Cultural Revolution. It's a good deal for Harvard too. California can give each one a "full tuition, room and board scholarship". Harvard currently costs $49,000 a year. Then when Harvard's full, the Governator can send the remaining inmates to Princeton, Yale, Stanford, you get the picture. If Harvard wants to "cherry pick" this crew, it can offer reduced rates, in effect scholarships, to get the more "desireable" inmates.