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California Taking New Steps To Reduce Recividism

Aired 11/20/13 on KPBS News.

California is taking new steps to keep former prison inmates from re-offending and going back in prison.

California is taking new steps to keep former inmates from reoffending and going back in prison. Attorney General Kamala Harris announced Wednesday the creation a new division within the state's Department of Justice designed to reduce California's recidivism rate. At times it has exceeded 60 percent.

"If we were talking about a business with a failure rate of that number we would reorganize, we would reexamine and we would guide our approach by a well proven method which asks us to think about what is the return on our investment," Harris said.

The new department will identify programs that are reducing recidivism in counties around the state and help adapt those programs for broader use. It will also assist local agencies in finding funding for the programs

Harris cited a Pew study from 2011 that found a ten percent reduction in recidivism could save California over $230 million dollars a year.

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Avatar for user 'rightor1'

rightor1 | November 20, 2013 at 9:39 p.m. ― 3 years, 4 months ago

Jerry Brown puts the men and women on the streets with $200 and forces them to parole right back to the same area where they were arrested. They may have no friends and family members to give them support, but they must still go to the street in the same neighborhood with the same group of often rogue cops standing by ready to re-arrest for any reason whatsoever. In the Scandanavian countries, released prisoners are given food, housing, a job and sent to live with family members. Brown wants them to come back to prison and he sets them up to fail.

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Avatar for user 'muckapoo1'

muckapoo1 | November 21, 2013 at 10:07 a.m. ― 3 years, 4 months ago

What???? Give them food, housing and a job?? That's insane, when we have ex-military living in the streets. You know, the folks who put their lives on the line so we can be safer. Let's start with giving them more help. Besides, who wants known felons working along side of them? No, let's start getting tougher on criminals, and maybe that would deter some of the returning inmates. How about 3 crimes and you get solitary confinement for life? And in a really small cell without extras. Maybe it would make them go straight.

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Avatar for user 'sdreefer21'

sdreefer21 | November 21, 2013 at 11:50 a.m. ― 3 years, 4 months ago

Automatic death penalty for murder, rape, violent child crimes. That will reduce that rate.

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Avatar for user 'Missionaccomplished'

Missionaccomplished | November 21, 2013 at 12:19 p.m. ― 3 years, 4 months ago

Yeah, _ckkkapoop, so what's the VA doing for them??? These guys are panhandling under the bridges. Some have mental problems.

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Avatar for user 'Peking_Duck_SD'

Peking_Duck_SD | November 21, 2013 at 2:07 p.m. ― 3 years, 4 months ago

Muckapoo, you are calling something insane that is supported by real data.

Studies show that when given help to get back on their feet, ex-prisoners are more likely to become producible members of society and recidivism goes down.

It's an investment in society, there is nothing "insane" about it.

Sdreefer, support for the death penalty in this country is at the lowest it's been in decades.

And bringing a punishment of death for crimes that don't involve murder is a very dangerous road to do down, and few but the most rogue nations do this type of thing.

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Avatar for user 'muckapoo1'

muckapoo1 | November 21, 2013 at 2:14 p.m. ― 3 years, 4 months ago

Mission. I completely agree with you!!!!!! Our lousy government has treated our veterans poorly since the Bonus Army shootings in Washington after WW1. Govco asks them to put their lives on the line. When they get home, they then have to fight for their benefits. Many of the VA hospitals are a joke. Vets are dying, waiting in line for treatment. Wartime associated illness' are dismissed too easily. Treatment of our veterans has become a national disgrace. Where is the outcry from the leftists about that??
sdreefer is on the right track with a good start.

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Avatar for user 'Peking_Duck_SD'

Peking_Duck_SD | November 21, 2013 at 2:24 p.m. ― 3 years, 4 months ago

Muckapoo, I agree with you about the poor treatment of veterans, but that's not what this story is about.

Our government should be interested reforming our overly-bloated prison system AND helping veterans.

In fact, let's NOT lock up low-level offenders for years on end and with the money spent we can use it to help veterans who are struggling!!

By the way, I hear liberals criticizing the mistreatment of veterans regularly. Rachel
Maddow has reported on the problem numerous times.

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Avatar for user 'muckapoo1'

muckapoo1 | November 21, 2013 at 4:03 p.m. ― 3 years, 4 months ago

Ducky, my comments were aimed at insinuating we follow Scandinavian countries lead. I said it is insane to reward the terrible behavior of prisoner while our vets suffer. If there is a choice of who we help, vets win. Prisoners get any scraps that may be left. I even put the 18 million illegals ahead of the thugs in jail. Let them eat dirt.

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Avatar for user 'sdreefer21'

sdreefer21 | November 21, 2013 at 4:04 p.m. ― 3 years, 4 months ago

I work frequently with homeless vets. Mostly those that are chronically homeless and suffer from extreme mental illness coupled with extreme alcoholism. A large number of these people would prefer to be left alone to die drunk on the streets. But the one or two that take the help and recover are pretty special. Sometimes it feels like some of these groups are enabling the homeless. With the best intentions no doubt. But thats my take. Back to the story. Rapists and pedophiles destroy lives just as much as murderers. The death penalty here has nothing to do with rogue nations. Our justice system is fair for the most part. We give people a chance to defend themselves in a court of their peers. Unlike many of those other nations. As a society I feel we have run out of room for people who just don't care about others and the laws of our lands. Who is going to miss a David Westerfield, John Gardner, Serial rapist, murdering gang banger? There is absolutely no way to explain a single instance of murder, rape, or pedophilia. I am tired of paying to house this type of scum. Death is swift and sets a prime example of how these crimes will not be tolerated.

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Avatar for user 'muckapoo1'

muckapoo1 | November 21, 2013 at 4:26 p.m. ― 3 years, 4 months ago

Death is the only sure fire way they will not hurt anyone else. If they have multiple personalities, let them talk among themselves. Someone needs to die, pick one.

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Avatar for user 'sdreefer21'

sdreefer21 | November 21, 2013 at 8:04 p.m. ― 3 years, 4 months ago

I know this is a very sensitive issue but some people used to be forced to receive mental help through institution. Many were not taken care of properly. With the advancements in medicine, psychology, and therapy is it not possible to help those that are truly vulnerable. The ones that deny help have a right to do so. But what about the ones who're just recirculating through the streets, jail, cmh, and back again?

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Avatar for user 'Peking_Duck_SD'

Peking_Duck_SD | November 22, 2013 at 7:40 a.m. ― 3 years, 4 months ago

Sd reefer, you bring up an interesting point re: the shift in mental hospitals.

The fact is that this nation has actually replaced the mental hospital beds with prison beds.

It used to be that when people were "sent away" it more often than not was for in-patient mental treatment.

Today, it's overwhelmingly jail or prison.

I think forcing people to a mental hospital is a tricky thing and would need to be reserved for those who pose serious danger to themselves and/or others, but I certainly think society would be better served if our prisons had not become the de facto mental hospitals of today.

Of course, with the über-powerful police/prison lobbies that have politicians bought on both sides of the isle (yup, Jerry B., I'm talkin to YOU dear) taking away a large chunk of their "business" will never fly.

By shoving the mentally ill into prisons where they don't get proper treatment and then throwing them back out onto the streets again with a high guarantee they will be back is not in the interest of public safety or public health, it's a BUSINESS MODEL big prison-industrial complex bosses use to ensure the gravy train keeps flowing.

And, not to veer to far from the point of this article but it must be said, one of the scariest and most inappropriate/unconstitutional things happening now to make all this EVEN WORSE than it already is: PRIVATE FOR-PROFIT prisons.

It's all the rage amongst the police state advocates and, if allowed to proliferate, will make our prison system a complete sham and no better than the most corrupt prison states on earth.

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Avatar for user 'muckapoo1'

muckapoo1 | November 22, 2013 at 9:15 a.m. ― 3 years, 4 months ago

Is mental illness the key to why the US has one of the highest prison rates? We also have a lot of mental facilities. Is there something about the US that creates more mentally ill? Something that turns them more criminal? Is it the lack of complete families and single parents having children raised by others? Is it the food? Is it all of this new technology? What groups are looking for the root cause of this mess? Would like to read more.

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