FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:
California wants to delay an order requiring the state to reduce its prison population by more than 40,000 inmates over the next two years.
Jaycee Dugard was kidnapped at 11 and kept hidden for 18 years in a backyard compound.
Last month - a three-judge panel gave California 45 days to decide how to cut its prison population, saying that was the only way to improve medical and mental health care for the inmates.
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger says the courts can't order the state to release prisoners; and he is set to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. He says cutting the state's inmate population must be done in a responsible way.
His administration is backing legislation that would cut the number of inmates, now at around 170,000, by about 37,000 over two years... Part of the plan would be to send more convicts to county jails or home detention.
And it's not just California... Several states have been under pressure to reduce prison populations to cut costs as their deficits increase and the recession means less tax money coming in.
But wait just a minute. This all comes as details continue to unfold in that horrific kidnapping case that broke near San Francisco last week... where a paroled sex offender was arrested for abducting an 11-year-old girl, holding her for 18 years and having two children with her.
The outrage over this story just might shape the debate over the early release of prisoners - as it should. This creep was released early only to do more of the same.
Here’s my question to you: How will a recent California kidnapping case affect the push for states to release prisoners early in order to save money?
Interested to know which ones made it on air?
Mary Jo writes:
It may have some impact, but any lawmaker who votes in favor of releasing prisoners into the general population for the sole reason of saving money should be removed from office. What do these idiots think is going to have to happen to the number of police on the payroll after these folks hit the streets early? Haven't these people learned yet that there are no jobs out there for people who are not convicted felons?
Excuse me, but you are an idiot. Please explain to me how releasing petty criminals is the same as releasing convicted sex offenders and murderers. If we de-criminalized "victimless or moral" crimes, it would relieve the overcrowding and free up tons of money to maintain humane prison systems. Tax drugs, alcohol, guns, tobacco, and prostitution and you would have all "tough on crime" cash you could desire. When the state went into the numbers business, any moral arguments were lost.
Kal from New Jersey writes:
As a volunteer, I taught a writing class in the NJ State Prison (1800 inmates) for 5 years. It costs $40,000 a year to house, feed and guard each inmate. The population is quite diverse. At least one-third of the men in there are sociopaths who should never see the light of day. Others committed stupid crimes while young, and are capable of rehabilitation if there were more efforts made to teach them and help them re-enter society, where they could support their families...and pay taxes!
Jack, As a retired homicide detective, I will say there is no excuse for the poor police work and failure by State Parole in the follow-up on Garrido's case, but we simply cannot continue to lock up so many persons in any of our states… We need to take a realistic look at the costs of state corrections and the court systems. The criminal justice system has been completely ineffective for years.
James from Anaheim, California writes:
Jack, Any one of those prisoners can say the same things and act the same way that that creep Garrido did to get out of jail early. Releasing the prisoners from jail due to the deficit sends the wrong message that anyone can and will get away with anything. I myself was molested for 6 years of my life and I don’t want to see an eyeball of any of those rapists and drug addicts near me or any of my family.