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States ponder early release for some prisoners (Budgets)

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RamboLiberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-10-09 11:18 PM
Original message
States ponder early release for some prisoners (Budgets)
Source: MSNBC/AP

Their budgets in crisis, governors, legislators and prison officials across the nation are making or considering policy changes that will likely remove tens of thousands of offenders from prisons and parole supervision.

Collectively, the pending and proposed initiatives could add up to one of biggest shifts ever in corrections policy, putting into place cost-saving reforms that have struggled to win political support in the tough-on-crime climate of recent decades.

"Prior to this fiscal crisis, legislators could tinker around the edges but we're now well past the tinkering stage," said Marc Mauer, executive director of the Sentencing Project, which advocates alternatives to incarceration.

"Many political leaders who weren't comfortable enough, politically, to do it before can now under the guise of fiscal responsibility implement programs and policies that would be win/win situations, saving money and improving corrections," Mauer said

In California, faced with a projected $42 billion deficit and prison overcrowding that has triggered a federal lawsuit, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger wants to eliminate parole for all offenders not convicted of violent or sex-related crimes, reducing the parole population by about 70,000. He also wants to divert more petty criminals to county jails and grant early release to more inmates steps that could trim the prison population by 15,000 over the next 18 months.


Read more: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/28592088 /
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texastoast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-10-09 11:29 PM
Response to Original message
1. How about the bazillion pot smokers?
It's absolutely ridiculous to have a single person locked up for that. It just burns me that taxpayers have to pay to keep them incarcerated while the liquor industry fights to keep pot criminalized.
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Oldenuff Donating Member (442 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-11-09 01:18 AM
Response to Reply #1
5. You took the words

right out of my mouth.
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SlowDownFast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-11-09 02:30 AM
Response to Reply #1
8. Yup. Release all non-violent drug offenders.
Edited on Sun Jan-11-09 02:33 AM by utopiansecretagent
And stop the continuing imprisonment of them.

That'll save some buckleys.
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pattmarty Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-11-09 07:56 AM
Response to Reply #1
14. I'll "toke" to that!!!!
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RoyGBiv Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-10-09 11:30 PM
Response to Original message
2. Here's a solution ...

Release everyone imprisoned for any marijuana related offense.

Then work on the other drug related offenses and release everyone not involved in some sort of violent act.

Alternately, put the entire Bush administration in prison. Release everyone else but the other murderers, rapists, and serial thieves.

Problem solved.



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bluestateguy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-10-09 11:45 PM
Response to Original message
3. There's the bright side to massive budget deficits
release non-violent drug offenders, all of them.
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KakistocracyHater Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-11-09 12:06 AM
Response to Original message
4. cost to tax-payers to hold prisoners
should be manditory, posted at the supermarket & post office. Each area may be a little different but I want it known how much it costs to 'book' someone, & I think that when confronted with the costs & knowing we have a bigger percentage of US population imprisoned than China?! Inflexible, dogmatic, explosive neocons, or in a word: fools
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High Plains Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-11-09 01:38 AM
Response to Original message
6. There are about non-violent 500,000 drug offenders behind bars.
But only about 10% are pot people. There just aren't that many places where you routinely get imprisoned for pot offenses anymore. Which isn't to say that anyone should be in jail or prison for weed, not at all. But no one should be deprived of their liberty for what they choose to ingest, and the corollary to that is, neither should the person who sold them their product of choice.
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rpannier Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-11-09 01:41 AM
Response to Original message
7. On the positive side this is a good thing and about bloody damned time
To play Devil's advocate -- Who's gonna get them a job or are we just gonna release them onto the streets with a new suit and 20 bucks?

Many of these people will need help in terms of getting jobs, housing, etc. I'm sure there will be little money for that

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machI Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-11-09 05:06 AM
Response to Original message
9. Every person incarcerated for drug possession fills a cell that should have a violent criminal in it
Prison is the intuition of higher learning for criminals. Put a young kid convicted of drug possession in with a group of hardened felons and they don't get rehabilitated - they learn how to be real criminals.
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eridani Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-11-09 06:22 AM
Response to Reply #9
12. Boy. Amazing how everybody is way ahead of me here
Everybody suggest this on change.gov please.
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Joanne98 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-11-09 05:07 AM
Response to Original message
10. The prison's guard union will protest!
They do it everytime. "Job security" means keeping people in jail forever.
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Kolesar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-11-09 07:48 AM
Response to Reply #10
13. In Ohio, the jailers actually lobby against relaxing prison terms
Policy like that should be guided by jurists and psychologists. (you know that)
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biermeister Donating Member (425 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-11-09 08:21 AM
Response to Reply #10
15. it's more than just the unionmembers protesting
The builders & operators of the privatized prison system (KBR, etc) have a lot of money to lobby for expansion of the system. Since they are represented in Washington and we are not, our elected representatives spend more of our tax money to build more prisons. You don't want to pay for empty prisons, so you incarcerate more people. It's like money in the bank, if you're represented properly.

We should release everyone in prison on pot charges and replace them with all the criminals in Washington and those bankers who have robbed the American taxpayer blind for the last 8 years.
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machI Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-11-09 05:07 AM
Response to Original message
11. K&R
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norepubsin08 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-11-09 09:33 AM
Response to Original message
16. Good anybody not in prison because of a violent crime,
or delivering and selling drugs, or treason should not be in jail, but in community sanctions of some sort such as work release, half way house, home detention or probation.
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norepubsin08 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-11-09 09:35 AM
Response to Reply #16
17. Part of the problem is that we as a society
have let all these red-neck fuckers starting with Nixon become a court and cop admiration club...we have lost the sense that we need to focus on rehabilitation and retribution...by becoming a compassionless and "me" society we have lost our values and now we are paying the price!
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High Plains Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-11-09 12:46 PM
Response to Reply #16
19. You want to imprison people engaged in consensual transactions?
i.e. drug sellers? What is your ethical justification for imprisoning these people? And should we include alcohol distributors and pharmaceutical company reps, too?
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lonestarnot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-11-09 09:56 AM
Response to Original message
18. Time to work on fixing it permanently.
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