Friday, July 25, 2014
PLACERVILLE, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Prison showdown

By
From page A4 | September 04, 2013 |

Under a federal court order to reduce California’s prison population by 10,000, Gov. Jerry Brown has come up with one plan and Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg has come up with a different one.

We much prefer the governor’s, which has been supported by Assembly Speaker John A. Perez.

The governor’s plan is to spend $315 million to move 8,000 inmates to in-state private prisons and out-of-state prisons. Also being tapped are local prison-like jails that have capacity. The inmate fire camps may be expanded as well.

Steinberg’s plan is to spend $200 million to expand drug treatment and mental health care for prisoners. He also wants an advisory panel to review sentencing laws and another panel to review what size prison population California should have. Steinberg would also give grants to counties for drug rehab and mental health.

We don’t hold out a lot of hope for mental health changing around the thousands of psychopaths and sociopaths that are in prison. Prison is the right place for them. No number of six-figure shrinks and lesser-certified psychology professionals will change that.

Local drug and alcohol diversion courts, however, are a success story. If there are counties that are not employing this technique, then the state should certainly encourage them to study how El Dorado County and other jurisdictions make this work. County jails should receive some financial aid to conduct professional drug and alcohol rehab programs.

We’ll also agree that sentencing laws need to be reviewed. Just don’t mess with the three-strikes law.

Some laws are clearly excessive. For example, we cite the case of the Georgetown man who this month was sentenced to 11 years prison by an El Dorado County judge for his second DUI and driving without a license after getting out of prison. A further part of his sentence included a 10-year ban from obtaining a driver’s license after serving his 11 years in prison, just to make sure he can’t earn a living.

We’ve seen real bad criminals get less prison time for heinous crimes. The sentence followed the law, with a couple of years for this and a couple of years for that and pretty soon it added up to 11 years. Drunk driving is a menace to us all, but this is out of all proportion to the crime. The poor fellow must have thought he wound up in Judge Roy Bean’s court. He would have been better off serving time in the county jail and participating in a rehab program as well as getting outside to pick up trash.

We’re not sure embezzlers should be sent to prison either. County jail and some furlough plan to enable them to pay restitution is a better course. Save the prison for the murderers, rapists, child molesters and assorted psychopaths.

Steinberg already got Proposition 63 passed in 2004 to impose a 1 percent income tax on millionaires. Since 2005 it has raised $9 billion. An audit requested by Steinberg showed the money and the program were sloppily managed. So, how is another $200 million of taxpayer money going to perform any better?

Before frittering away the tax increases Brown talked voters into, the existing Proposition 63 money should be used for local drug and alcohol rehab. No new spending.

Back in May, according to Californian Healthline, “The state Senate unanimously approved a bill, SB 585, by Senate President Pro Tempore Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, that would let counties use Proposition 63 money for Laura’s Law, which allows courts to require treatment for residents with severe mental health conditions and a history of violence or hospitalization.”

Drug and alcohol addiction is a mental health issue and Steinberg can get a bill through to redirect some of his Proposition 63 money toward these issues. In the meantime, shift the prisoners to other facilities to reduce the California prison population as ordered by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Comments

comments

Mountain Democrat

.

News

 
Scaffolding issue makes for contentious meeting

By Wendy Schultz | From Page: A1, 2 Comments | Gallery

 
District 2: Candidates debate jobs versus lifestyle

By Dawn Hodson | From Page: A1, 2 Comments | Gallery

Accident: 1 bullet hits 2

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A1

 
 
Help available for breastfeeding mothers

By Health and Human Services Agency | From Page: A3

El Dorado County School Board vacancy

By El Dorado County Office of Education | From Page: A8

 
.

Opinion

Something to think about: More than what you see

By Wendy Schultz | From Page: A4

 
Popular science

By Mountain Democrat | From Page: A4

The weekly Daley: A good time to be there…

By Chris Daley | From Page: A4

 
.

Letters

Support of Director Prada

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5

 
Uphold the Third Amendment

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5

Bureaucracy

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

 
Imagination Theater’s play

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5

Watch whom you’re calling ‘conservative’

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5Comments are off for this post

 
Fake ‘small farms’ steal from residential EID customers

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5Comments are off for this post

People of Placerville

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5

 
Computer scam phone calls

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5

.

Sports

Sports Scene: July 24, 2014

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A6

 
Quarter century later, Rypien wins ACCG again

By Andrew Hazard | From Page: A6 | Gallery

Outside with Charlie: Paddle time

By Charlie Ferris | From Page: A6

 
Midget Lites join tomorrow’s action

By Bill Sullivan | From Page: A6

El Dorado rallies for last-inning victory

By Mike Bush | From Page: A6

 
Rush sit a win from Series

By Jerry Heinzer | From Page: A7

Tasmanian Devils go undefeated

By Patty Pope | From Page: A7

 
.

Prospecting

El Dorado wines win in Amador

By Democrat Staff | From Page: B1

 
Things to do: July 25, 2014

By Democrat Calendar | From Page: B2

Suds entice the taste buds

By Krysten Kellum | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
Rhythm and Views goes bluesy

By | From Page: B3

Have an Hawaiian vacation at Carson Road wineries

By Carson Road Winery Asociation | From Page: B3Comments are off for this post | Gallery

 
Summer fun is happening in Twain Harte

By Fire On | From Page: B4Comments are off for this post

Manzanita doubles the music

By Table Nectar And Manzanita | From Page: B5

 
Recording artist at Busby Cellars

By News Release | From Page: B6

Hands4Hope hosts school supply drive

By News Release | From Page: B6

 
Supergroup plays Harris Center

By Carrera Productions | From Page: B6

Artists invited to go western

By Art On The Divide | From Page: B7

 
Visit Tahoe artists during tour

By Special to the Democrat | From Page: B7

Reggae on the River celebrates 30 years

By Reggae On | From Page: B7Comments are off for this post

 
.

Essentials

Lake levels 7-24-14

By Michael Raffety | From Page: A2

 
Crime Log: July 11-13

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A2

Building permits 7/7-11/2014

By Michael Raffety | From Page: A2

 
.

Obituaries

Wallace Murrel Thomas

By Contributor | From Page: A2

 
.

Real Estate

How to have a garden party, minus the whining

By Marni Jameson | From Page: HS3

 
Most common mistakes homebuyers make

By Ken Calhoon | From Page: HS4

.

Comics

TV Listings

By Contributor | From Page: A9

 
Speed Bump

By Contributor | From Page: A9

Tundra

By Contributor | From Page: A9

 
Working It Out

By Contributor | From Page: A9

Shoe

By Contributor | From Page: A9

 
Sudoku

By Contributor | From Page: A9

Rubes

By Contributor | From Page: A9

 
New York Times Crossword

By Contributor | From Page: A10

Horoscope, Sunday, July 27, 2014

By Contributor | From Page: A10

 
Horoscope, Saturday, July 26, 2014

By Contributor | From Page: A10

Horoscope, Friday, July 25, 2014

By Contributor | From Page: A10

 
.

Home Source

How to have a garden party, minus the whining

By Marni Jameson | From Page: HS3

Most common mistakes homebuyers make

By Ken Calhoon | From Page: HS4