Prison Reform Movement: Blog: Rina Palta: Counties Opting For Incarceration, Not Rehabilitation
California has so many people in their corrections system as far as inmates. And so many inmates that they are now under a court order to reduce the size of their inmate population. Not by accident because they arrest too many people. Fill up their prisons with inmates, basically just warehousing them. There are some exceptions and are left to wonder what to do with them once they reach overcrowding, for a State that’s apparently as blue as California, That hasn’t voted Republican for President since 1988, they have a lot of “Bad Laws”, they simple incarcerate too many people who don’t represent a major threat to society. And after they do incarcerate these people, they don’t do a lot to prepare them for once they are released from prison.
California has what I would call a non-violent offender crisis. They incarcerate way too many people for drug abuse and drug obsession, when getting these people into drug rehab and halfway houses at their expense would save California taxpayers a lot of money. California had an opportunity to repeal one of their “Bad Laws” in 2010. To decriminalize marijuana and stop arresting people for use or possession of marijuana, which would’ve save their corrections system and Law enforcement billions of dollars, but that failed.
And California is back where they started. But they could do things like drug rehab and halfway houses at the inmates expense. For Petty Offenders, people who are in prison for dumb mistakes. Like shoplifting and Drug Crimes. California could save its corrections system and law enforcement billions of dollars just with sentencing reform, keeping a lot of their non-violent Offenders out of prison and into halfway houses or drug rehab at the offenders expense.
This would save California a lot of prison space for people who need to be there, putting their inmates to work and paying them so they can cover their cost of living and repealing their bad laws. And they would dramatically lower the size of their inmate population and still be able to protect the state.