The sluggish economy is being blamed for a controversial proposal that is sure to have many Americans up in arms. From Coast to Coast state governments are proposing to release inmates that they will no longer be able to house.
“If we don’t find a way to better manage the population at the state prison, we will be forced to spend money to expand the state’s prison system — money we don’t have,” said Jeff Neal, a spokesman for Rhode Island Gov. Don Carcieri.
State governments are hemorrhaging due to the fiscal crisis the country is going through so there is consideration sending inmates to rehabilitation programs or outright releasing low-level offenders. Adoption of these proposals will save these state governments considerable sums, $450 million in Kentucky and California alone. Upwards to eight states are looking towards making sweeping changes to reform their criminal justice systems.
The States of New Jersey, Vermont and South Carolina are considering sending convicts with drug dependencies to treatment centers instead of penitentiaries. Even the GoverNator is making sweeping reforms to California’s enormous criminal justice system. Check out this quote:
In California, where lawmakers have taken steps to cut a $16 billion budget deficit in half by summer, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger proposed saving $400 million by releasing more than 22,000 inmates who had less than 20 months remaining on their sentences. Violent and sex offenders would not be eligible.
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