California Prisons Reward Dangerous Offenders, Punish Non-Violent Ones


The scandal-ridden California prison system releases dangerous convicts with little supervision and often reincarcerates them less than a year for the serious offenses they commit, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. Meanwhile, the state reimprisons non-violent offenders repeatedly for relatively minor parole violations such as failing drug tests, thus creating a revolving door policy for convicts who pose little threat to society.

“We are both simultaneously too harsh and too lenient,” Joan Petersilia, a UC Irvine criminologist, told the paper. “It is a system that is totally contrary to what public safety would really dictate. We send thousands of people to prison who probably shouldn’t be there, and at the same time, we give violent offenders a break.”


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