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Kadie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 03:18 PM
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Senate bill asks voters to approve more schooling for inmates
Senate bill asks voters to approve more schooling for inmates

The Associated Press

Last Updated: May 25, 2004, 11:45:18 AM PDT

SACRAMENTO (AP) - Voters would be asked Nov. 2 to approve more schooling and rehabilitation for state prisoners under a proposed constitutional amendment that passed the state Senate on Tuesday.

The amendment aims to improve one of the nation's worst records in integrating inmates back into society. State corrections officials say only one in five of California's ex-convicts successfully completes parole after release, noting 70,000 return to prison every year, usually for minor offenses.

"It's time for members of this Legislature to concede that our prison system is a monumental failure," said Sen. Ross Johnson, R-Irvine. Johnson and others noted most inmates have a fourth-grade reading ability arriving and departing the prison system, leaving them ill-prepared to stay out of trouble.

The measure, authored by Sen. John Vasconcellos, D-Santa Clara, requires the Department of Corrections to analyze each inmate within 90 days of arrival, and craft a "comprehensive rehabilitation program" to meet the inmates needs for school, a vocational trade and personal development.

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