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Early Release Program Puts Violent Criminals Back on the Street

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Inside Alcatraz | Photo by bdearth via Flickr
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The Los Angeles Newspaper Group, owners of the Daily News and various other local papers, today is calling it like it is when talking about California's budget-saving early release prisoner program. Their editorial lede: "As evidence that the state simply has lost the ability to govern effectively, the early release program for prison inmates already is off track." Ooof.

When Governor Arnold Scwharzenegger and former Assembly Speaker Karen Bass sold the public on the program, which could save the state $1 billion, the only prisoners to be released were nonviolent. That, however, is not happening according to records obtained by the AP. Prisoners with "assault with a deadly weapon, domestic violence, and child and elderly abuse" were all released. In San Bernadino County, for example, of the 642 inmates released early, about 186 had violent records.

The editorial pushes for reform in the law to include violent criminals, as promised by Schwarzenegger and Bass. And that needs to happen "before something goes terribly wrong and they're forced to share the blame."