The Los Angeles Times reports on a “disturbing” increase in parole revocations in California, where hundreds of violent lifers have been set free in recent years as a result of reforms and pressure over prison overcrowding. Nearly 2,000 of the ex-lifers are currently on parole. Most succeed, but since 2011 at least 50 inmates with life sentences, including 33 paroled under Gov. Jerry Brown, returned to prison or jail, accused of drug use, domestic violence, theft, and even attempted murder.
The governor defended his parole decisions and said he is abiding by the law and his own belief in redemption. The state agency charged with supervising the high-profile parolees started organizing special services in 2013, when about 1,400 already had been paroled. Re-entry programs were beefed up in select prisons, special agents now supervise lifers in five communities, and lifers counsel one another at monthly meetings in four cities.