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Los Angeles Times (March 27): State Is Joining Shift on Prisons

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Jack Rabbit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-27-05 02:05 PM
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Los Angeles Times (March 27): State Is Joining Shift on Prisons
From the Los Angeles Times
Dated Sunday March 27

State Is Joining Shift on Prisons
As new strategies take hold around the nation, the governor is turning the focus of California's penal system to helping parolees rejoin society
By Jenifer Warren, Times Staff Writer

By insisting that California make rehabilitation a focus of prison life, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is joining a national movement of political leaders who believe it is time for a new approach to incarceration.

For almost three decades, politicians have belittled efforts to rehabilitate inmates as ineffective mollycoddling. Led by California, the nation undertook a prison building binge and adopted tough crime laws that pushed the population behind bars past 2 million.

Now, with states under persistent economic stress and evidence showing that most inmates are rearrested within three years of release, lawmakers across the country are acknowledging the need for change. There is now broad agreement that locking up and mostly ignoring offenders has been far from a cure-all for crime.

With bipartisan support, states small and large are shortening criminal sentences, restoring early release for good behavior, diverting drug offenders to treatment and beefing up efforts to help parolees rejoin society.

Read more.

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