There are thousands of nonviolent inmates overcrowding our prison system. But those who are bent on keeping them locked up are supposed to have the answer for finding beds for mentally ill inmates? The wrong people are making public safety decisions at a cost of billions of dollars.The solution is simple. The California courts and the governor are too overworked to be bothered with releasing nonviolent inmates. But a new clemency system that supersedes all clemency laws in the state could be used to release a nonviolent golf club thief. Each county could be tasked with releasing those who qualify. A five-member panel could be paid for service and consist of average citizens who vote and have served on a jury in their county.These clemency panels could free up 10,000 prison beds in less than a year without risking public safety.See full editorial here.
Thursday, June 12, 2008
Today's Los Angeles Times features an editorial which asserts now common themes in such discussions. Among other things, it notes: