Under California’s budget crisis, parole is getting a lot easier – no more random drug tests, travel rules, or requirements to check in with an officer, reports the Associated Press. Restrictions have been relaxed for nonviolent criminals like burglars, drug offenders and fraudsters under a new law that aims to shrink the prison population by reducing the number of minor parole violations that send ex-cons back to prison. About 24,000 nonviolent ex-cons are expected to qualify for less supervision.
Local law enforcement agencies and community groups are worried. They fear less supervision will lead to a spike in crime, compounding the exact problem state officials are trying to remedy. “It’s a pretty significant concern from the public safety standpoint,” said Commander Todd Rogers of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. “There’s a really good chance these guys are going to go out and caper again.”