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California Fails Even at Releasing Sick Prisoners

by: Brian Leubitz

Thu May 26, 2011 at 13:00:00 PM PDT

Robert wrote about the Supreme Court's decision to force massive reductions in the prison population, yet the prisons aren't even doing what they are required to do to allow medical parole.  David Dayen covered the story of a quadriplegic patient who was denied parole

This is completely insane. Here you have a quadriplegic - maybe a bad dude in his heart, but incapable of acting on it in any way - that we're spending $625,000 to hold in prison for no reason. Under normal circumstances this would be a waste of money - under the circumstances that California, under a Supreme Court ruling, must reduce the prison population, it's unconscionable. This guy is taking up the space of some other criminal. There are people in comas in state prisons. When lawmakers passed this bill, they didn't just want parole hearings, they wanted people who could not threaten society released, as a least-worst option to relieve a prison crisis.

Jeanne Woodford, a former director of the state prison system and current anti-death penalty leader has called out the system as unsustainable, as have columnists like the LA Times' Steve Lopez.  Yet even with a Supreme Court order hanging over their heads, little changes.

Both the Democrats and the Republicans are addicted to the prison system.  They are addicted to the simple solutions that it presents, and afraid to confront the more difficult issues of prevention and treatment.  Perhaps the Supreme Court decision changes that, but don't count on Incarcerex going down without a fight.

Brian Leubitz :: California Fails Even at Releasing Sick Prisoners
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For no reason??? (5.00 / 2)
I don't know what is meant "we're spending $625,000 to hold in prison for no reason."  Perhaps Dayen meant to say there is no public safety reason to hold the medically challenged person in prison, but there is no public safety reason to hold LOTS of people in prison.

There is one very good reason to hold him in prison: to keep the prison guards employed.  The "toughest beat in the state" includes guarding inmates who are in a coma or who are quadriplegic.  

When Jerry Brown was elected Governor in 1975, there were 20,000 inmates in California prison.  Today there are 30,000 members of CCPOA.  And while CCPOA represents the most active cheerleaders for "tough on crime", but everyone up and down the law enforcement line has a stake in keeping the prison population up.

Non-violent drug offenders (5.00 / 2)
California prisons house about 30,000 non-violent drug offenders. Release them and the problem is solved. California, and America, also would become less of a brown-shirt politice state.

I wrote more on CalWatchDog.com:

John Seiler
Managing Editor, CalWatchDog.com

Deport and save (0.00 / 0)

In addition to releasing non-violent drug offenders, let's also look at having the Feds handle what they are supposed to- the illegals immigrants who committed crimes, got convicted and now are a non-productive drag on California.  Send them back to their country of origin.  This is not punishment, just saying "you are not welcome here because you so disrespected our laws".  Heck, give them each $10,000 to start anew. I figure we may have 15,000 - 20,000 illegal immigrants in our California prisons.  We'll reduce our prison population and save several hundred million a year (presuming we actually reduce costs with a smaller inmate population).    

or maybe not ? (5.00 / 1)
....Here you have a quadriplegic - maybe a bad dude in his heart.....

Or maybe not ?
Maybe just an ordinary guy ??

For the record, he's a RAPIST
Even as a quadriplegic, he's verbally abusive of the nurses and staff who attend to his needs

Dry your weeping eyes

If he were to be released, the taxpayers would still be liable for his room and board
We'd still be liable for his medical care
For his well being

maybe a bad dude in his heart ????

Their claim is that he could direct people to take violent (5.00 / 1)
actions on his behalf if not in prison.  I guess that it's plausible -- and would therefore be more than "no reason" -- but it's also plausible that he could do it while he remains in prison, so that it wouldn't make a difference.  House arrest isn't clearly a worse option.

Or just 'misunderstood' (5.00 / 1)
You either release this rapist or not
There is nothing that says he would be under 'house arrest'
What is 'house arrest' ??
He'd be released
He'd be free

He'd also be a ward of the public
We'd pay for his room and board and his medical expenses

But, then what's a rape or two ? or three ?
Justice is TOO Expensive these days

Is there anything to be said for 'crime and punishment' ?
Should he be Punished for Rape ?
Is rape a 'no fault' crime ?

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