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Comments made by Pray4Peace

California Corrections Reform Advocates Push For Incarceration Alternatives


It is so much wiser economically and for compassion to spend money on programming, services, housing, jobs, youth centers, rehabilitation, and detox centers than to expand jails and prisons, and fund more for-profit, corporation prisons.

December 9, 2013 at 9:36 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Reducing Calif. Prison Population

Thank you, Ms. Penner, for including issues from the California prison crisis in your broadcasts.

Schools are accountable for student outcomes. Why are prisons not accountable for inmate outcomes? Instead, when inmates are not rehabilitated, the prisons and related industries get more business and more jobs at tax payer expense.

For-profit prisons are immoral. Their incentive is not to reform inmates but to incarcerate as many people as possible. There is little transparency in government prisons and for-profit prisons can hide even more abuses. Continually building more prisons and sending people to for-profit prisons is not sustainable and is bankrupting the state.

By now most people know that the recidivism rate was reduced from 70% to 21% at Donovan prison due to the rehab, drug, and education programs. We should not have reduced funding for those programs. They saved us a lot more money than they cost.

January 24, 2010 at 6:59 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

San Diego County Faces Another Economic Crisis

There are too many examples of well-intended laws that turn bad because of some absolute requirement such as having to spend more on education than on prisons. We certainly need real prison reforms that will automatically result in saving the salvageable lives of some inmates and saving us lots of money.

The governor denying parole for almost all serious offenders who served their time and are recommended for parole by the board waste a lot of our money. Of course, some should never be released, but we need to follow the lead of Kansas that is having success with their prison reforms and especially with evaluating individuals for sentencing and release.

January 9, 2010 at 1:27 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

15 Years After 'Three Strikes' Law, Calif. Prisons Packed

Unfortunately there is so much fear mongering over criminal justice reforms that even though 3-strikes does not work as voters intended, repealing it will be difficult.

Those politicians who want to expand the prison system and send people out of state are again just kicking the prison crisis down the road for the next term of politicians. It is not sustainable.

We should evaluate individuals when deciding sentencing and release rather than continuing the one-size fits all tough-on-crime turned dumb-on-crime policies. That might have prevented the release of the man who recently killed the police officers in San Francisco, and could save salvageable lives and families of those who are unnecessarily locked up for too many years at our expense ($49,000 annually).

Unreasonably long sentences; unjustly denying parole to serious offenders who have served their time and are not, or no longer are, a threat to society; replacing mental hospitals with prison time; the 3-strikes law; and the overwhelmed, broken parole system are bankrupting the state.

October 9, 2009 at 8:48 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Budget Cuts Dismantle Donovan State Prison's Rehab Programs

"“If (inmates) go through a program like the one at Donovan, the recidivism rate is reduced from 71 percent to 21 percent.....”

We should track the results of the programs and fund only those that work. And, the programs should be easily available to almost all inmates.

Cutting the rehab, training, and drug programs is false economy. If one inmate is returned to prison for as few as three years it will cost us $148,000 ($49K x 3). I admit to not knowing what rehab programs cost, but it cannot be that expensive for each individual, especially since the cost of a program is spread among many inmates.

There are many hidden dollar cost to cutting rehab, such as lost wages for those who would have turned their lives around and paid taxes instead of using up our tax dollars.

The non-dollar cost of cutting these programs is enormous. Salvageable lives will be ruined and those released will be far more likely to re-offend. Who among us will that hurt?

October 9, 2009 at 8:11 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Prison Crisis: Life at Richard J. Donovan State Correctional Facility

Thank you for the article. Donovan is known as the best California state prison. You would get a more realistic (and horrific) picture from another prison. _____

Everyone needs work for self esteem, and in the case of inmates, also for learning about showing up for work every day, learning a skill, and keeping out of trouble. However, our prisons are so overcrowded there are few jobs to go around._____

Inmates do eventually have access to medical care, but it can take months before even “emergencies” are treated, and of course there is no preventive medicine.______

California reducing its education, rehabilitation, and substance abuse budgets is false economy. It cost $49,000 annually to incarcerate each inmate. It is difficult enough for those with “records” to survive outside because often employers will not hire them and landlords will not rent to them. We need to provide rehab programs and some support when they are released, and track the results. Throw out the programs that do not work and fund those that do. _____

As pointed out, almost anyone with “life” included in their sentence will not be released in spite of having served their time and no longer being a threat to society. Those serving time for the horrible crime of murder are the least likely to re-offend. Of course we have sympathy for the victim’s family, but keeping the non-dangerous inmates locked up for years beyond their initial sentence is hollow revenge and waste salvageable lives while costing us $billions of dollars._____

Building more monolithic prisons and sending inmates out of state is not sustainable and means kicking the prison crisis down the road for the next group of politicians.

October 7, 2009 at 12:22 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Prison Crisis: Overcrowded And Unconstitutional

Politicians who want to build more prisons and farm inmates out to other states are just kicking the prison crisis down the road. It is not sustainable.

In my earlier post, I did not mean to sound as if prison employees are to blame for the crisis. There are good guards and bad guards. They are tested for mental fitness for the psychologically hard job before being hired, but never again. The brutal and abusive guards should be moved into different jobs.

Unreasonably long sentences; unjustly denying parole to serious offenders who have served their time and are not, or no longer are, a threat to society; replacing mental hospitals with prison time; the 3-strikes law that does not work as intended; and the overwhelmed, broken parole system are bankrupting the state.

Sentencing commissions have benefited other states, why not California? We ought to evaluate individuals when deciding sentencing and release rather than continuing the one-size fits all tough-on-crime turned dumb-on-crime policies. That might have prevented the release of the man who recently killed police officers in San Francisco, and could save many salvageable lives and the families of those who are unnecessarily locked up for too many years at our expense.

Thank you again for the excellent article, and for previous NPR stories by Laura Sullivan.

October 6, 2009 at 4:42 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Prison Crisis: Overcrowded And Unconstitutional

Thank you so much for the article about our prison crisis. It is so horrific, California's overcrowded prisons and lack of rehab and support for ex-offenders is not only making NPR world wide news but news broadcast from other countries as well.

Also making world news is the cover up of the execution of what may have been an innocent man in Texas. Governor Rick Perry effectively stopped the investigation that would likely prove the man's innocence. By Governor Perry not delaying the execution when doubts of guilt were raised he shows both lack of compassion and very poor judgement.

We should some how reward prison managers, employees, and parole workers when they do their job of reforming people. Presently, it is backward. We reward, rather than penalize, prisons with more union jobs and overtime when they fail at their jobs and people are sent back to prison.

As indicated, California missed the opportunity for criminal justice reforms. Reforms that would have saved salvageable lives and lots and lots of tax payer dollars.

October 6, 2009 at 8:56 a.m. ( | suggest removal )