Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Wait Listed By Jail-14

"In the rush to save money in grim budgetary times, states nationwide have trimmed their prison populations by expanding parole programs and early releases. But the result--more convicted felons on the streets, not behind bars--has unleashed a backlash, and state officials now find themselves trying to maneuver between saving money and maintaining the public's sense of safety. ... In Illinois, Gov. Patrick J. Quinn, a Democrat, described as a 'big mistake' an early release program that sent some convicts who had committed violent crimes home from prison in a matter of weeks. Of more than 1,700 prisoners released over three months, more than 50 were soon accused of new violations. ... A victims' rights group in California sued last month to block a state law that expands the credits prisoners can receive to shorten their sentences, and prosecutors in Michigan are challenging release decisions there", Monica Davey at the NYT, 5 March 2010, link: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/05/us/05parole.html.

Tough luck California and Michigan. There's no more money. Period.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Painful adjustments... yup... who's gonna take the pain?

Ubu said...

And the courts have ruled again and again that the rights of prisoners compels the state to spend a staggering amount of money to incarcerate dangerous criminals; any attempts to reign in spending will be met by a flurry of human rights lawsuits. The courts have acted for a long time as if the financial cost of anything is immaterial, all that matters are the abstract rights as defined by university leftists determined to but another impossible financial burden on society. Further, the state has lost control of the prisons; those are run by the criminals and the state hires people to walk around and contain the worst of it.

Independent Accountant said...

Ubu:
The 8th Amendment applies to prisoners too. As a practical matter, the majority of prisoners are incarcerated for drug-related offenses. If we repeal the drug laws, about 80% of our prisoners would be freed. If the state incarcerates someone, it does not give him a death sentence. Prisoners are entitled to medical care.
I agree with you about courts not caring about costs. It is most evident in education and medical care for illegal aliens.

IA

Ubu said...

The 8th Amendment has become an amorphous definition based on what any hand-wringing university activist says it is; it moves around with the vague sentiments of the chattering classes and their fullest expression from the courts. Those sentiments were very different in 1950 than they are today.

It is going to take some display of force to reclaim control of the prisons from the inmates back the guards and the warden. I would rather serve time with the warden firmly in charge than the Mexican mafia in control.

We see part way on drug offenses, but many of those drug dealers are also life-long criminals with a long record of mayhem. I do not want those offenders released. The rest can go.

As for the illegals, I would be billing their host country and then deporting them when their sentence is over.

Independent Accountant said...

Ubu:
We are in partial agreement. I see no constitutional basis to prohibit the death penalty. People were hung in the 1790s. The founding fathers knew this. That some judges think the death penalty unconstitutional shows they see the law as just the expression of their personal preferences.
You write "many of those drug dealers are also life-long criminals with a long record of mayhem". Absolutely. But armed robbery, murder, extortion, burglary and such are different crimes. Selling crack on the corner is a different act.

IA