Moving Felons From Prison To Jail Is Smart Move


Publish Date:
April 28, 2011
Publication Title:
San Francisco Chronicle
Op-Ed or Opinion Piece Pages A-10
  • Joan Petersilia, Moving Felons From Prison To Jail Is Smart Move, San Francisco Chronicle, April 28, 2011, p. A-10.
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Gov. Jerry Brown this month signed Assembly Bill 109, historic legislation that will enable California to close the revolving door of low-level inmates cycling in and out of our expensive state-prison system. The bill shifts key responsibilities and funding to counties, which can more effectively sanction – and rehabilitate – offenders.

For too long, California’s prison system has outpaced the nation in spending, recidivism and overcrowding – and has had an antiquated parole system. We have paid an unsustainable premium for returning low-level parolees to prison and for doing much at the state level that should be done locally.

California spends nearly $9 billion on corrections annually, or about $50,000 per prisoner (the national average is $23,000).