Ca. Victims Say Prison Reforms Threaten Safety


Three leading California crime victims’ groups have criticized Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s new parole policy and corrections reorganization plan as serious threats to public safety, the Sacramento Bee reports. “I really thought he was on our side, on the side of the victims,” said Robin Reagan, whose father was shot to death in a 1993 Sacramento street robbery. But it doesn’t seem like that is true.” Reagan, of Crime Victims United of California, was joined by representatives of the Doris Tate Crime Victims Bureau and Citizens for Law and Order.

A spokesman for the governor’s Youth and Adult Correctional Agency responded that, “Public safety is the underlying factor in everything that we do. We have near-record numbers of inmates in our prisons, but we can’t just lock them up in there. Inevitably, 90 percent will come out and go back into the community and we have to be more effective in what we’re doing and how we rehabilitate.” The three groups attacked the Schwarzenegger administration’s “new parole model” that has sought to cut down the state’s recidivism rate by not reincarcerating large numbers of parolees who violate the technical terms of their releases. Instead of sending the offenders back to prison, the policy calls for them to be placed in intermediate sanction programs or otherwise continued on parole on their own. The new parole policyresulted in 2,429 fewer parolees being returned to prison on revocations in 2004 than in the previous year. Bill Bean Sr. is the father of a 28-year-old Sacramento police officer shot and killed by a parolee he pulled over in a traffic stop. Bean said the new parole policy appears to be “a numbers game” that is “leaving the victims out.”


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