California Governor Jerry Brown is looking to add millions of dollars into California’s budget, to be spent on programs aimed at keeping for inmates on the up-and-up and out of jail, an idea both parties have latched on to and agreed upon due to concerns that inmates end up getting thrown back behind bars en masse after leaving the Southern California Rehab facilities they were sent to or the like. However, there have been some criticisms of the idea, with some saying that it isn’t enough.
The proposal includes adding $50M to the budget, for the expansion of occupational training for prisoners as well as assisting them in finding jobs once release, such as working as firefighters.
Another part of the governor’s proposed budget plan include $106M for an incentive program designed to reward counties in California for reducing recidivism, or the tendency of released prisoners to reoffend.
Supporters of the proposal say that the state must invest more to ensure that the state’s criminal justice system gets overhauled , which reduces the overcrowding in the state’s prisons by transferring low-level criminal offenders to country jails or dropping them to local supervision, in order to achieve the state’s goal of cutting down on recidivism across its territories.
Assemblyman Phil Ting says the old method of locking people up didn’t work, as it led to a lot of cost but not that much in terms of results. Assemblyman Ting is the San Francisco Democrat chairing the budget committee. He says he want to see more efforts to stop inmates from reoffending once they leave their respective Southern California Rehab facility, and what would be able to help, in his opinion, is a longer-term investment that can reduce recidivism, saying that that isn’t really an area the system has focused on.
According to recent data from the state, 46% of inmates released in the most recent year with available data were convicted again within a three-year time span of their release. Experts say that it’s difficult to compare recidivism between states, but that California’s is high, according to Mia Bird, of the nonpartisan Public Policy Institute of California.
A recent study by the PPIC and statements from the DA Anne Marie Schubert, points out that the recent change have not resulted in reduced recidivism or increase state saving, with the additional caveat that rampant retail theft have sprung up in the wake of the changes.
The changes have reduced state prison population, but it has reportedly put strain on California counties, with critics pointing out that the funding has not been enough for rehabilitative services.
Schubert says that more resources are necessary, and it won’t be cheap, but that the state must be willing to pay that cost.