The reason why California has overcrowded prisons and why America has overcrowded prisons in general. And why the Supreme Court ordered the California Government to release tens of thousands of Prison Inmates. Is because we arrest too many people and put them in prison who don’t represent a threat to society. I’m not talking about Con Artists who steal people’s money by scamming them. Who represent a clear threat to society. Because of the threat they represent to the economy. But Drug Addicts, Prostitutes, Gamblers, Shoplifters, small time criminals. Who in lot of cases only represent a threat to themselves, if anyone. And we don’t rehabilitate the inmates that deserve and should be in prison, like our Violent Offenders. So once they get out, they are no more prepared for succeeding on the outside as they were when they entered prison. And as a result end up going back to prison. Which is the Revolving Door of Prison Life.
Instead of sending Non Violent Offenders to prison we should have Alternative Sentencing for them instead. Like Halfway Houses, where they would their time. But also go to work and make a living. And Drug Rehab, which would be plus for the inmates themselves, keeping them out of prison. But also a benefit to society, because it would be more Cost Effective. Because it would pay for itself and more because these inmates would be working, paying their Room and Board and paying taxes. With our inmates that need to be in prison, we should be educating them and putting them to work in prison. The inmates that can function in General Population, so they get the skills that they need to be successful in life legally and give up their Criminal Careers. But also successful in prison and earn money and Good Time there. So they can pay for their Room and Board and pay back their victims and contribute to their family’s.
Prison Reform is not about being “Soft on Crime”, but making prisons work better for society including the inmates. And bringing our Prison Population down to a more manageable level. So they work for everyone involved.