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Thu May 31, 2012, 10:20 AM

Grants Pass, Oregon Releases Inmates After Budget Cuts Leave County With 'No Other Alternative'

GRANTS PASS, Ore. -- Dozens of inmates ran whooping from a small town jail into the sunshine Wednesday after a cash-strapped county in Oregon's timber region was forced to release them amid budget cuts.

The sheriff's office released 39 inmates, dropping the population at the jail in Grants Pass to 60 half of them federal prisoners held on contract.
<snip>

"We did keep the worst of the worst" those facing charges for crimes that carry mandatory prison sentences said Jail Commander Vicki Smith.
<snip>

The sheriff's office was forced to cut staffing to levels not seen since 1991 after voters emphatically turned down a $12 million levy to plug a gap left by the expiration of federal timber subsidies. Since then, applications for concealed weapons permits have skyrocketed, many taken by people concerned that the sheriff's cuts will lead to a rise in crime.
<snip>

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/30/grants-pass-oregon-inmates_n_1557904.html

There's more to this story, but I can't get it all in 4 paragraphs. Those not considered the "worst of the worst" are still pretty bad. What happens to victims out there that think their attacker (for lack of a better term) is in jail?

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Reply Grants Pass, Oregon Releases Inmates After Budget Cuts Leave County With 'No Other Alternative' (Original post)
Renew Deal May 2012 OP
lumpy May 2012 #1
Fumesucker May 2012 #2
Renew Deal May 2012 #6
Zalatix May 2012 #3
Mr Dixon May 2012 #8
Egalitarian Thug May 2012 #13
Bluenorthwest May 2012 #4
kestrel91316 May 2012 #5
Renew Deal May 2012 #7
kestrel91316 May 2012 #9
Comrade Grumpy May 2012 #10
Renew Deal May 2012 #11
Comrade Grumpy May 2012 #14
Renew Deal May 2012 #16
Renew Deal May 2012 #17
ProgressiveEconomist May 2012 #12
RebelOne May 2012 #15

Response to Renew Deal (Original post)

Thu May 31, 2012, 10:29 AM

1. The only good that can come out of this could be that those jailed because of pot use

are let free.

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Response to Renew Deal (Original post)

Thu May 31, 2012, 10:44 AM

2. A lot of people in jail have not been convicted..

Jail is where people who have yet to go to trial but cannot bond out for whatever reason (lack of cash being a major one) are held, before the trial they are considered innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

So you have no idea if those people at least are "pretty bad" or not..

"They wouldn't be suspects if they weren't guilty" -Ed Meese

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Response to Fumesucker (Reply #2)

Thu May 31, 2012, 11:58 AM

6. Yes, the article mentions that...

I just ran out of space.

"About half of those released will finish their sentences on work crews. The rest were waiting for trial."

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Response to Renew Deal (Original post)

Thu May 31, 2012, 10:47 AM

3. I take it they have no room to hold Occupy protesters if any were in the area?

 

This is how you effect REAL change in America - defund the prison industrial complex and take money away from the police thug guardians of the Plutocracy, and only the worst of the worst will go to jail - which is as it should be.

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Response to Zalatix (Reply #3)

Thu May 31, 2012, 12:07 PM

8. AGREED

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Response to Zalatix (Reply #3)

Thu May 31, 2012, 03:39 PM

13. Good idea, but occupying Grant's Pass would be less than effective.

 

27 people live there and 20 of them work for the industry that is killing the state.

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Response to Renew Deal (Original post)

Thu May 31, 2012, 10:47 AM

4. The counties which lost federal timber revenue in 91 lost the subsidies meant to

replace that income last year when the Congressional mandate for such payments expired. The people lack income, the counties lack income. And Congress is broken.

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Response to Renew Deal (Original post)

Thu May 31, 2012, 11:33 AM

5. Let me guess: they let the violent offenders go and hung onto

the folks with marijuana convictions.

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Response to kestrel91316 (Reply #5)

Thu May 31, 2012, 12:01 PM

7. Ummm, no

"Among the inmates released was one incarcerated for failing to register as a sex offender, and another accused of agreeing to sex for money with a 14-year-old girl offered by her boyfriend online."
<snip>

"Among those released was William Nathan Smith, a 45-year-old man from San Jose, Calif., who served 30 days of a 50-day sentence for drugs, assault, and being a felon in possession of a firearm. He sat on a curb with his shirt off, smoking his first cigarette in weeks, TV cameras in his face."

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Response to Renew Deal (Reply #7)

Thu May 31, 2012, 01:11 PM

9. Well Mr. Smith sure qualifies as violent. The drug offense is beside the point. And sex offenders

are dangerous to society, unlike casual marijuana users.

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Response to kestrel91316 (Reply #9)

Thu May 31, 2012, 01:27 PM

10. All those people would have eventually been released anyway.

We can't afford our over-incarceration binge, as Grant's Pass is finding out.

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Response to Comrade Grumpy (Reply #10)

Thu May 31, 2012, 03:10 PM

11. Tell that to the victims.

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Response to Renew Deal (Reply #11)

Thu May 31, 2012, 04:08 PM

14. Let us know when there are some.

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Response to Comrade Grumpy (Reply #14)


Response to Comrade Grumpy (Reply #14)

Thu May 31, 2012, 04:22 PM

17. Let's start with this 14 year old.

"Among the inmates released was one incarcerated for failing to register as a sex offender, and another accused of agreeing to sex for money with a 14-year-old girl offered by her boyfriend online."

You seem perfectly comfortable with this, or maybe you didn't read the article.

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Response to Renew Deal (Original post)

Thu May 31, 2012, 03:36 PM

12. I hope this is a trend that hits State governments soon.

I don't know whether or not it's good that each of these particular 39 inmates was let go.

But in the future, judges and prosecutors in that county will have to be more selective in sending people to court and to jail in the first place.

IMO, mass incarceration has become a greedy industry benefiting corporations that exploit prison labor for pennies, giant prison privatization behemoths like Corrections Corporation of America, prison guards that make more money than teachers, and politicians who exploit fear of crime rather than do much to deter crime or rehabilitate criminals, especially hard drug addicts.

Unfortunately, IMO cutting off the money is the ONLY way to stop the madness that over the last generation has made the US home to fully 25 percent of the world's prisoners (see the map at http://www.prisonpolicy.org/atlas/globalprisonerspercentage.html ).

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Response to Renew Deal (Original post)

Thu May 31, 2012, 04:13 PM

15. I saw on the news today that will be happening

here in the Atlanta area. They just cannot afford to keep them locked up.

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