An Ironic Twist

I saw in the L.A. Times that federal judges may force California to cut their prison population by up to 40%, leading to the release of up to 57,000 inmates. It seems that some of the inmates had filed suit, claiming that prison overcrowding was preventing them from getting proper health care and mental health treatment.

Now, if it was up to me, the first thing I would do would be to release every single non-violent drug offender. That would probably come pretty close to cutting the inmate population down to what the Feds want. Locking up non-violent drug offenders is, to put it mildly, stupid. People who have harmed no one but themselves are being branded as felons, and the taxpayers have to pay for the cost of their incarceration. It's a waste of money.

The ironic twist is that if California has to release 57,000 inmates, where will they then get their health care and mental health treatment? Considering that they will be ex-cons going into a tough job market, they'll have a hard time finding employment. Sure, it's all skittles and beer for the inmates remaining behind in their less-crowded cells, but the ex-cons suddenly on the street may find themselves even worse off than they were in prison.