Hollingsworth on prisons
Just received an e-mail from the office of Dennis Hollingsworth, leader of the minority Republicans in the state Senate, containing 26 pdf pages of information he says contradicts “myths” about prisons and prisoners in California. Among his arguments: California does not over-incarcerate, the three strikes law reduces crime, reducing the prison population doesn’t necessarily reduce costs, prison rehab programs should be cut and, despite a federal court ruling that has determined that prison medical care is appalling, cruel, unusual and unconstitutional, Hollingsworth describes the level of care in prisons as “Cadillac.”
Hollingsworth thinks the recidivism rate, which is about 60 percent, is “alarming,” but he wants to cut rehabilitation programs, which inmate advocates believe are laughably inadequate. So, presumably, he doesn’t want inmates rehabilitated so that they can rejoin mainstream society and contribute to the economy; he simply wants them locked up for good, and he wants taxpayers to keep paying for it.
Get ready for a huge battle over how to cut the state prisons budget by $1.2 billion. Get ready for the prison guards union to start flooding the airwaves with ads that scare the bejesus out of Californians about mass release of violent criminals.