California is attempting to create “safer prison” environments. Normally, something such as trying to make prisons safer would be a respectable move. But the strategy being used has caused a lot of backlash — and rightfully so.
According to the Washington Examiner, the state of California is set to release roughly 63,000 inmates, some convicted of violent crimes, in order to have safe prisons. Yes, you read that correctly. California is making prisons safer by making the everyday streets more dangerous.
“The goal is to increase incentives for the incarcerated population to practice good behavior and follow the rules while serving their time and participate in rehabilitative and educational programs, which will lead to safer prisons,” Dana Simas, a state Office of Administrative Law spokeswoman, said in a statement, via the Washington Examiner.
“Additionally, these changes would help to reduce the prison population by allowing incarcerated persons to earn their way home sooner.”
I get the gesture here. I really do, but this isn’t the logical way to go about this.
Inmates who have been convicted of violent crimes can walk a straight line for a period — or at least some can — in order to get these “good time credits.” It’s not rehabilitation as much as it is the appearance of rehabilitation.
Criminal Justice Legal Foundation Legal Director Kent Scheidegger pointed out that the system could be effective if used correctly, but he doesn’t believe it it is being utilized properly. According to him, the good credits are too easy to obtain — and keep.
“You don’t have to be good to get good time credits. People who lose good time credits for misconduct get them back, they don’t stay gone,” he told NBC News. “They could be a useful device for managing the population if they had more teeth in them. But they don’t. They’re, in reality, just a giveaway.”
What are your thoughts on this decision?