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Wednesday, August 28, 2013

The problem with Jerry Brown's prison plan

The state spends way, way too much money on prisons, and now the governor wants to spend more -- and send people to (bad) private prisons and out of state to do it.

Brown insists that "only the most dangerous convicts remain in prison" after earlier court-ordered releases, but many of the remaining convicts are over 50, and some much older, and even if they did something awful once, they've served a lot of time and are unlikely to reoffend. And while we've made a lot of progress, there are still 12,500 people in prison for drug-related crimes.

So now, instead of doing what the courts have ordered and releasing people who aren't a serious threat to the community (or turning prison sentences for drug possession into treatment programs that are much cheaper), Brown wants to spend $315 million keeping everyone he can locked up.

(Imagine what just a fraction of that money could do for the crime rate in Oakland if Brown would give it to that city to hire more cops.)

If you agree that this is insane, the ACLU has a petition here.

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