California Governor Jerry Brown is ready to release his convoluted plan to obey the Supreme Court order to release prisoners due to prison overcrowding and health issues. In the article , he is also begging for more time, claiming two years is not workable.
California has 58 counties. California has been ordered to release approximately 33,000 prisoners over the next two years. That means on average, California can safely release 24 nonviolent prisoners per month, per county and reach the number of 33,408 released NONVIOLENT prisoners in 24 months.
What is so hard about that? Currently, California releases 10,000 prisoners a month on average. But because there is nowhere for the released prisoner to go, they end up back in prison. The flaw in the Supreme Court order to release prisoners is, that it could not order rehabilitation services for those released, which means 70% of those released will be back in prison in a short time.
The solution, a new state clemency system that is controlled by average citizens (pre-screened)not politicians or prison officials, who in my opinion have motives that work against what is best. These pre-screened citizens could work on mini county clemency boards and operate a release program case by case. Working with prison records to insure that those convicted of marijuana or other nonviolent or non-serious felonies are released before murderers, rapist or child molesters who happen to have less than two years remaining on their sentences would help.
These released prisoners then could be offered golden incentives with the assistance of a newly created rehabilitation industry (at 1/6 the current cost of $51,000 per year, per inmate to incarcerate) to stay out of prison.
For example, if an individual stays out of any U.S. prison for three, 5 or seven years, they could earn a full state pardon. Even current parolees could be offered this opportunity for a clean record.
Otherwise, build more prisons, not for those released... but for those of us who are not willing to lift a finger to help this prison release order work safely, which would be a far greater crime.