I am married to a lifer who got life for these stupid 3 strikes laws and he never killed anyone or hurt anyone it was just his drug addiction, if he could have gotten the help he needed for that instead of a life sentence.
I took this from a comment on a website. It could have been written about a large percentage of the prisoners in California. Never done anything violent, had a drug addiction, got locked up for life.
What does that mean to you as a taxpayer? A big bill. For each prisoner. $40,000 a year (and increasing each year) for 40 years. $1.6M.
The alternative? Cost of drug rehab? Let's be generous $10,000 - that allows for a relapse or two.
The difference? Savings of $1.5M which could be used for better education, health care for kids, name your passion of choice.
Remember, that's for each prisoner. And there are 170,588 prisoners as of 2007 in California.
And if that isn't enough, there is a plan to fuel this madness even more. It comes in the form of a constitutional amendment which will appear on your November ballot. There will be TV and radio ads right before the election that will pull at your heart strings. They have wrapped the whole package around a young girl who died years ago. They have named the law after her and she has a website to tug even harder at your heart strings. They even say it is a victims' rights bill.
But don't be fooled. This is not a victims' rights bill, this is one more blatant attempt to continue fueling the increase in the prison budget. They will play up the fact that if they don't allow prisoners to have annual parole hearings and conjugal visits that it will save taxpayers money, but it's simple not true. If you deny prisoners parole, then it will cost taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars in increased prisoner housing costs.
Don't keep letting the state pour money into the prison system. Let's use it for schools and health care and after school care and job creation and green jobs for the unemployed and infrastructure repair or any number of positive things that are additive to our economy and population well-being.
Locking up drug addicts, providing them with no drug treatment, no training, little or no family contact, and no prospects when, and if, they get released is simply a bad deal.
This time, say no more.
Get informed - check it out.
1325. (07-0100, Amdt. #1NS) - Raw Count
Criminal Justice System. Victims’ Rights. Parole. Constitutional Amendment and Statute.
Summary Date: 02/08/08 Circulation Deadline: 07/07/08 Signatures Required: 694,354
Proponents: Henry Nicholas, Marcella Leach and LaWanda Hawkins c/o Ashlee N. Titus (916) 442-7757
Requires notification to victim and opportunity for input during phases of criminal justice process, including bail, pleas, sentencing and parole. Establishes victim safety as consideration in determining bail or release on parole. Increases the number of people permitted to attend and testify on behalf of victims at parole hearings. Reduces the number of parole hearings to which prisoners are entitled. Requires that victims receive written notification of their constitutional rights. Establishes timelines and procedures concerning parole revocation hearings. Summary of estimate by Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance of fiscal impact on state and local government: Unknown potential increases in state prison and county jail operating costs due to provisions restricting early release of inmates. To the extent that any such costs were incurred, they could collectively amount to hundreds of millions of dollars annually. A potential net savings in the low tens of millions of dollars for the administration of parole reviews and revocations if the changes related to parole revocation procedures were not overturned by potential legal challenges. (Initiative 07-0100.) (Full Text)
Italics added by me for emphasis.