Sunday, January 17, 2010


According to independent research organizations, for every 5,000 felons who receive an early release, 45,500 new crimes will be committed over a three-year period, and 9,000 of those crimes will be violent felonies.


Los Angeles Police Protective League
January 15, 2010

Starting January 25th, thousands of dangerous criminals will be released early from California state prisons – and for the first time in nearly 30 years, sent back to local communities without any supervision.

“The County of Los Angeles will be dramatically impacted, with over 5,000 felons to be released to our city,” said Los Angeles Police Protective League (LAPPL) President Paul M. Weber.

“What concerns law enforcement is that unlike the current program, where released inmates have been placed on parole, restricted from certain types of activities, or provided various community-based rehabilitative resources, these inmates will be completely unsupervised.

“The only condition for these released inmates is that local law enforcement officers are allowed to search them without a warrant. However, since local law enforcement will not know who these people are, that is a virtually useless provision,” Weber said.

“We can expect crime to go up as a result of this massive release, considering California has the highest recidivism rate in the nation, with seven out of ten parolees reoffending then returning to the prison system,” added Weber.

For months the LAPPL has been warning the public that the prison gates are going to fly open in order to close the state budget deficit.

“Now we know that January 25th is the date that the state of California has decided to begin jeopardizing public safety with no perceivable financial benefit,” continued Weber.

“It is a virtual certainty that the releases’ overall cost and risk to local communities are going to far outweigh any initial savings for the state. Each incident of crime costs taxpayers, on average, $18,000 for arrest and prosecution. Thus, the early release program will cost taxpayers more in the long run based on the number of inmates to be released and standard recidivism rates. On top of the wasted dollars there is a much greater toll – the pain and suffering of victims, their families and our communities.”

Weber said he disagrees with state officials who will attempt to portray some of the inmates being released as low-risk and nonviolent.

“The people being considered for release are convicted felons, many of whom have plea bargained their crimes down to lesser offenses. A large number of them are parole violators – in other words, they are people who have already proven they cannot remain law abiding after being released from prison."


ReentryConsultantOnline said...

First, let me straighten the record here, the California Department of Corrections (CDCR) will begin releasing inmates to a Non-Revocable Parole status only if they are assessed at low to moderate risk to recidivate and generally this group will self-corrects without post supervision. In fact in many cases, you can do more harm than good by housing this population with the more hardened criminal.

Inmates are excluded from Non Revocable Status if they have any Serious or Violent Felonies in their adult criminal history. Additionally, these parolees cannot have any serious prison violations during their incarceration. Sex Offenders will not be released to this status either.

An example of a Non-Revocable Parolee would be an individual who has a criminal history of property and/or drug related offenses. Many times, they have failed probation supervision and the courts elected to send them to prison.

The best way to address this population's triggers for criminality is by providing comprehensive service delivery to them at the local level.

As a Criminal Justice Practitioner, for more than 30 years, I can tell you that this group should be serviced on the local level. Research have demonstrated that Correctional Agencies will get the biggest bang for their buck (taxpayers buck) by concentrating their efforts on the inmate who represent the highest risk of recidivating.

Although the statistics that have been quoted in this blog regarding the costs of recidivism are true, they do not necessarily apply to the inmate that CDCR is releasing to Non-Revocable Parole status.

Last, LAPD and all other law enforcement agencies have access to a CDCR database which will inform them who is on active or Non-Revocable Parole.

BarkGrowlBite said...

What a crock!

As a criminal justice practitioner of more than 30 years, ReentryConsultantOnline knows very well that many of those "low to moderate risk to recidivate" inmates copped a plea to reduced charges - from a crime of violence to a non-violent offense or from a serious felony to a less serious felony.

His statement that "this group will self-corrects without post supervision" is absurd and flies in the face of numerous academic studies on the recidivism of released prison inmates.

Centurion said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Centurion said...

ReentryConsultantOnline sounds like one of Arnold Schwarzenegger's bureaucratic talking heads.

I know spin when I see it......and I've just seen it......

bob walsh said...

While it is indeed possible the ReentryConsultantOnline has had some sort of 30 year past as a "criminal justice practioner" it is doubtful that he is truly involved in law enforcement.

He is obviously a "warm and fuzzy care and treatment" individual. His use of the catch phrase "providing comprehensive service delivery" makes that obvious.

I am not a lock them up forever guy. That would be idiotic and counterproductive. In fact I even support the notion of a small, focused, carefully chosen summary parole program just to see what happens.

However, when you kick out thousands and thousands of convicted felons using a pocket calculator as your primary tool, the goal being simply to empty cells, you can not seriously claim to be helping or supporting public safety.

ANY form of conditional release has issues, and will occasionally produce failure. When it's done off the cuff, it will produce many failures, some of them spectacular, to the detriment of the general public. Pretending it is being done carefully and with due consideration will not make it so.

ReentryConsultantOnline said...

BarkGrowlBite, It is true that it is not uncommon for the D.A. to offer a plea bargain to defendant’s but, that point in no way influence the outcome of a risk assessment in that, risk assessments are not determined by the inmate’s sentencing offense and/or criminal history only. The courts will not routinely allow the reduction of charges for defendant’s who perpetrate serious or violent felonies.

Of equal importance to note is that assessments of an inmate’s risk level ( low, moderate, high) are determined by an assessment of the entire criminal history, overall risk potential, history of substance abuse, education, family background, triggers of criminal behavior and social functioning This is a nationwide practice.

For the definition of serious and Violent felonies in the state of California refer to 1192. 7 Penal Code (Serious Felonies) and 667.5 Penal Code (Violent Felonies) These penal codes will provide you with a laundry list of crimes which meet the definition of serious and violent felonies.

BarkGrowlBite I was not clear on one point regarding the low to moderate population. Research shows that low risk offenders are self-correcting and will not reap significant benefits from intensive treatments and many times will experience an increase in recidivism. The moderate risk offender does need intensive treatment for the best possibility of a reduction in recidivism. It is unfortunate that this population will be going on the Non-Revocable Parole status.

ReentryConsultantOnline said...

Bob Walsh - I agree that there are some flaws in the plan but; I can also tell you that California is following in the footsteps of many other states in the nation, by adopting policies supported by research. My comments were meant to correct the misinformation stated by the LAPPL.

bob walsh said...

My mom once asked me if I would jump off a cliff if everybody else jumped off the cliff. I'm not a lemming.

California and many other states are making criminal justice decisions based on their wallet and available cell space and, to a lesser extent, political belief. Prisons are expensive.

Thing is, crime is expensive too. Prisons may not rehabilitate, but they do incapacitate. That's not wonderful, but it's better than a frozen carrot in the eyeball.

I am perhaps most bothered by the intellectual dishonesty of the presentation. The idea that you can predict dangerous behavior is idiotic. Anybody that tells you otherwise is delusional or a liar. When you add the fact that CDCR has a horrible track record in doing things as basic as complete file reviews (Charles Samuel and Phillip Garrido to name two of the most salient) the assertion that the people who will participate in the program will be properly screened to a meaningful criteria is false on it's face.

The intellectually honest thing to do (imagine that from a politician, or a professional bureaucrat) would be to say to the public; "We believe we are spending too much money to keep prisoners in prison, therefore we are going to start not doing that. We will make a reasonable attempt to pick less dangerous criminals to let out of prison early. We will make a reasonable attempt to supervise some of the people we let out. Sometimes we will be successful. Sometimes we will fail. Some of these people will rob, rape and kill during the time period when they would otherwise be in prison. That's life in the real world. If you want more/better public safety, you as voters must demand that priorities be shifted. Have a nice day."

California does not have a 70% recidivism rate because lack of good intentions. California has a 70% recidivism rate because criminal behavior is tolerated, adn tolerated, and tolerated. Criminals expect that we will continue to tolerate it. In the thousands of C-files I have reviewed I have seen I believe THREE inmates who went to prison on a first offense, all were for murder. We offer multiple chances for people to get their mind right. At what point do we draw the line?

When do we pull needed funds out of "normal" schools to pay $250,000per year for a DJJ ward? Why should be pay a ton of money for "special programs" for violent assholes when students who want it are struggling for a basic education.

The FACT of the matter is you can not rehabilitate someone. They choose to rehabilitate themselves. They get tired of crime. They get tired of being arrested. They get tired of the risk. Then they rehabilitate themselves. They will stay off the drugs, off the booze. We can't force them. We can help them, but we can't force them.

Until they have reached that point the safest thing to do is either kill them or keep them locked up until they are ready. One option is not reasonable, the other is not cheap. Leaving felons on the street to continue to commit crimes will result in more crime. It's what they do, it's who they are.