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Antonovich calls prisoner release plan ‘reckless and costly’

Posted: August 31, 2009 9:34 p.m.
Updated: September 1, 2009 12:00 p.m.
 

LOS ANGELES COUNTY - "The Governor needs a wake-up call. Releasing inmates is a threat to public safety and state taxpayers," said Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich. "Instead of releasing prisoners, Sacramento needs to cut the fat out of the state's bloated bureaucracy."

While the number of Corrections Department administrators grew by 32% over the last four years, the inmate population grew by just 2% and the number of youth inmates fell by 41% while the Juvenile Justice System added 50% more administrators.

According to a University of Chicago study, for every criminal that remains behind bars, there are five or six fewer crimes reported. Bureau of Justice statistics show that stronger sentencing laws over the past 30 years - including Three Strikes -- have clearly spared countless Americans from being assaulted, robbed, raped, and murdered.

Violent crime has plunged by more than 59 percent since the mid-1990s -- from 51 crimes of violence per 1,000 US residents in 1994 to 21 in 2005. In I973, 44 million crimes were committed. By 2007, that number dropped by nearly 23 million -- even as the population grew by more than 75 million.

"Electronic monitoring is also no solution," Antonovich added. When a parolee removes the electronic device or leaves his home, a signal is sent to a contracted vendor -- which may be out-of-state or out of the country. That vendor then notifies parole staff of the violation. Since parole is understaffed, local police will be called to respond. This lengthens response times and increases the burden on local law enforcement.

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