California is home to 27% of the nations 2.3 million incarcerated citizens, and has the highest recidivism rate in the country.
I believe that we can make a powerful difference through simple changes that favor rehabilitation and reintegration. 40% of our state prison population are non-violent, first-time offenders, mostly for drug offenses. I am in favor of returning these non violent offenders to local house arrest or probation care. Under state supervision they start to pay their debt to our society by participation in supervised mandatory community service.
54% of California’s prison population are violent criminals . With the decrease in expenditure by returning the non violent offenders to local control and custody, it would free up much needed Department of Justice resources. These resources can be redirected to provide higher quality rehabilitation services for violent criminals.
Furthermore, it would allow the state to better comply with the US Supreme Court order in the ruling in Brown vs. Plata, which requires prison population limits to protect the medical health and provide adequate care. California can no longer violate the 8th Amendment protections for incarcerated citizens.