More parolees hit CA streets

More parolees hit CA streets

prisons, wolverton, cagle, April 29, 2014Whether young or old, increased numbers of paroled convicts are rejoining California society. A new high court ruling likely will decrease life-without-parole prison sentencing for juvenile offenders. State parole boards are substantially increasing recommendations for release. And Gov. Jerry Brown is facilitating the new approach amid an ongoing effort to comply with several controversial U.S. Supreme Court decisions.

In early May, the California Supreme Court handed down a unanimous ruling that allows judges to opt against denying juveniles the possibility of parole, based on their age and the seriousness of their crimes. That decision cuts against lower courts, which have long assumed that justices should favor sentences of life without parole for juveniles convicted of murder with especially heinous or so-called “special” circumstances.

At the same time, release on parole continues a steady climb in California. In just the past five years, over twice as many convicts serving life sentences have been paroled than in the last two decades combined, according to The California Report. Meanwhile, Gov. Brown has stood clear of some 80 percent of state parole recommendations. A third of “lifers” facing parole hearings now receive parole, as a result of several wide-reaching events.

Brown has struggled for years with lawsuits trying to force change on the California prison system. Brown’s administration faced allegations of constitutionally unjustifiable overcrowding, which culminated in a 2011 U.S. Supreme Court ruling against him in the Brown vs. Plata case.

By this year, Brown was able to secure two years more time to meet criteria used to show overcrowding has been adequately reduced. Nevertheless, as NPR reports, parole is one effective way to reduce prison populations, which Sacramento officials have been especially keen to do in the wake of Swarthout vs. Cooke, a separate U.S. Supreme Court decision handed down in 2011. Brought up on an appeal of a California verdict, the case resulted in tougher standards for denying parole to inmates no longer considered dangerous.

Shifting perspectives on crime

Some of the anecdotal evidence is encouraging when it comes to the real-life impact of parole on life sentences. But more broadly, these developments come at an uneasy time. California parole officials were recently humiliated when two sex offenders who had been granted parole wound up allegedly killing at least four women while subject to “close” state or federal monitoring.

Then, the shocking Isla Vista shootings by University of California, Santa Barbara student Elliot Rodger stoked fears that complicate the issue of parole. California already faces significant debates surrounding juvenile crime, mental illness, access to guns, government monitoring and recidivism.

In an added wrinkle, differing opinions on criminal justice reform don’t match up with party lines. Sacramento Democrats, for instance, are divided over whether to tighten the state’s already stringent gun-control laws even further. California’s restrictions are among the severest in America. But in the wake of Isla Vista, three state Democrats are pushing for a new measure.

A so-called “gun violence restraining order” is being advanced by Assemblyman Das Williams, D-Santa Barbara; Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner, D-Berkeley; and state Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson, D-Santa Barbara. Their proposed legislation would permit individuals to warn courts and law enforcement that they’re worried a friend of family member might become violent.

As the New York Times reports, leading Democrats are wary of the move, even though gun-control activists have taken up the “restraining order” cause in the legislatures of states like Connecticut, Indiana and Texas.

While Brown has a mixed record of signing some gun-control laws while vetoing others, state Sen. Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, told the Times his fellow Democrats’ proposal has a “potential for abuse.” New legislation along the lines they support “would have to be very carefully crafted,” he cautioned, “because you do not want the law to get into the middle, or just to be used as a pretext or excuse for leverage in an intergenerational family fight.”

Liberalized parole laws create the same possibility for potentially dangerous gray areas. On the other hand, they have also been shown to begin the process of rehabilitation into society that even tough-on-crime advocates tend to support. As California’s growing parolee population returns to public streets and private homes, their actions may shape public opinion more quickly than lawmakers themselves.

37 comments

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  1. Steele, Ted, When only the very best will do!
    Steele, Ted, When only the very best will do! 30 May, 2014, 11:22

    All I can say is this– I am VERY glad that in nearly all of California we are blessed to have fine men and women in Law Enforcement to protect all of our citizens from the resulting crime sadly some of these folks will engage in.

    Eureka!

    Reply this comment
  2. Rex the Wonder Dog!
    Rex the Wonder Dog! 30 May, 2014, 19:18

    Their proposed legislation would permit individuals to warn courts and law enforcement that they’re worried a friend of family member might become violent.
    I am sending NOTICE right now that Teddy Steals is a mental case and could be one to lose it- as such he should be restrained from all weapons, even water pistols.

    Reply this comment
  3. Donkey
    Donkey 30 May, 2014, 20:38

    I am glad to see prisoners being released, most don’t even belong, it is the PIC that has gotten the legislators to criminalize most things that 30 years ago was a slap on the hand. We have citizens getting strikes for fist fights while the cops pummel unarmed people to death everyday. 🙂

    Reply this comment
    • Bud Led Ted S.
      Bud Led Ted S. 2 June, 2014, 09:58

      LOL— Doinkey LOVES the inmates!!!!

      LMAO— knew it!

      Reply this comment
      • Rex the Wonder Dog!
        Rex the Wonder Dog! 2 June, 2014, 13:59

        Teddy loves government welfare queens, but we don’t chastised you for it Teddy. Stop being a h8ter …

        Reply this comment
      • Donkey
        Donkey 2 June, 2014, 17:52

        The Donk loves free Americans my RAGWUS feeding parrot, AKA TCS.

        The PIC is a testament to the moral decay within our government by creating jobs for gun wielding thugs that assault, maim, murder, rape, kidnap, cage, and slander citizens while stealing great amounts of money in the form of tax dollars.
        I see you have to depersonalize the citizens caught up in the PIC, just like the Germans did to those caught up in their own PIC back in the day. You are the epitome of a sniveling coward TCS. 🙂

        Reply this comment
        • Bud Led Ted S.
          Bud Led Ted S. 3 June, 2014, 20:20

          LOL a doomer melt down!

          Reply this comment
          • Donkey
            Donkey 5 June, 2014, 07:46

            This is a typical encounter with a California LE RAGWUS feeder, everything in brackets is deleted from the official record:
            [The deputies kicked in the door, with guns drawn, shouting orders]
            Deputies arrived on scene.
            Shortly thereafter,
            [they roughed people up, screamed and threatened them.]
            there was a confrontation
            [The citizen wasn’t submissive enough to suit deputy Smallnuts]
            where the deputy was in fear for his life
            [so he blasted away at her back till his gun was empty]
            and as a result he fired his weapon. 🙂

  4. Bud Led Ted S.
    Bud Led Ted S. 31 May, 2014, 08:20

    OMG BFF’s

    It was so easy to spin up the trolls!!!!

    That was a 1:5 post generator!!!!!

    Reply this comment
  5. Bill Gore
    Bill Gore 31 May, 2014, 09:00

    The War on Drugs, War on Crime, etc etc have left us with packed prisons, streets flooded with drugs and cops whose attitude has gone from ‘protect and serve’ to ‘all civilians are scum’.

    After 40 years of war on the american taxpayer we finally see a glimmer of hope, maybe of societal maturity and intelligence in how we deal with crime and criminals, if for no other reason than the fact that it costs a lot of money to lock everyone up and throw away the key.

    Now maybe some reform of the cesspool legal system/legal ‘profession’.

    Reply this comment
    • Bud Led Ted S.
      Bud Led Ted S. 31 May, 2014, 15:06

      You may be right Bill— But releasing the often 20 time losers into YOUR hood will have predictable results. And, of course, since you are unable to protect yourself, you’ll need the assistance of law enforcement. I for one am glad we have such fine police in this state for the most part. It’s “probably” a good thing he’s letting out the so called non non non’s– crime stats in a few years will prove it one way or the other!

      Reply this comment
    • Rex the Wonder Dog!
      Rex the Wonder Dog! 31 May, 2014, 19:58

      Billy destroys trougher Teddy.

      Reply this comment
      • Bud Led Ted S.
        Bud Led Ted S. 1 June, 2014, 07:40

        he does? I think Billy and I almost agree Poodle-girl!

        Reply this comment
        • Rex the Wonder Dog!
          Rex the Wonder Dog! 2 June, 2014, 08:01

          What is a “hood”? The top of the engine compartment of a car??? That is where you live Teddy?

          Reply this comment
          • Bud Led Ted S.
            Bud Led Ted S. 2 June, 2014, 09:57

            mmmm….you should get out of the bunker more little buddy!

          • Rex the Wonder Dog!
            Rex the Wonder Dog! 2 June, 2014, 14:00

            Sounds good… can I come visit the Tedstir?

          • Rex the Wonder Dog!
            Rex the Wonder Dog! 2 June, 2014, 14:01

            I’ll bring Donk, we will have a partay!

          • Bud Led Ted S.
            Bud Led Ted S. 2 June, 2014, 17:38

            You’ll have to improve as a human to be granted a visit to the Ted. I think you should start by just getting out of the bunker into the fresh air— maybe take your meds too?

          • Donkey
            Donkey 2 June, 2014, 17:42

            Rex, TCS would shake like a leaf in the wind on meeting me in person. He is all mouth, the boys in the locker room know him well. TCS and Skdog didn’t even know the meaning of “bring the wood” in a football game, both thought it had to do with some homosexual act.

            He is a RAGWUS feeding coward that likes to steal other peoples hard earned cash. 🙂

          • Bud Led Ted S.
            Bud Led Ted S. 2 June, 2014, 20:17

            Doinkey Duncey-girl,

            Isn’t it a hoot that you like to get all internet macho from time to time like a fem internet ju-jitsu tough guy?

            I find it delightful mmmmm ! ™

          • Donkey
            Donkey 3 June, 2014, 08:14

            Shake my little coward from the idea of meeting a man better than you in everyway.

            TCS, you are a misogynist punk, trolling the wed in search od relief for your angst. The RAGWUS sucks, as does its members!! 🙂

          • Bud Led Ted S.
            Bud Led Ted S. 3 June, 2014, 15:38

            Mmmmm— You’re a good girl Duncey!!!!!

  6. Ulysses Uhaul
    Ulysses Uhaul 3 June, 2014, 08:03

    Teddy

    You intellectually schooled the Donko…..ah….such brilliance….

    Reply this comment
    • Donkey
      Donkey 3 June, 2014, 08:15

      Ahaul, crawl back under the rock you came from!! 🙂

      Reply this comment
    • Bud Led Ted S.
      Bud Led Ted S. 3 June, 2014, 15:37

      Thanks Pack and Ship—- it’s easy to put the trolls down in the bunker as I have to do from time to time– funny and curious when Doinkey-Duncey gets all internet tough guy macho- ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww——spooky!

      Reply this comment

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