The Los Angeles Times editorial page weighs in today on the “folly” of the “headline-based lawmaking” by politicians who rush to pass rigid new laws based on each new shocking crime. The paper says the California prison crisis was brought on by politicians whose laws took sentencing discretion away from judges, packing prisons with nonviolent offenders.
The paper says, “The folly of these and other state corrections policies has been clear for more than a decade. Experts have filed studies and reports by the dozen identifying solutions to the overcrowding crisis, yet they’ve been ignored by politicians worried that fixing the prisons might be seen by voters as coddling criminals. If there’s one good outcome from California’s budget woes, it’s that they might force lawmakers to institute reforms that should have happened years ago.”