Posted Friday, August 9th 2013 @ 5pm
Yes, it's going to be a thing. Keep those blogs coming people. They are entertaining the hell outta me. This week's winner is named Bear AND he has a gun so I was afraid he'd shoot me if I didn't post it.
It's a great read. Check it out:
When is Failure, Failure?
AB 109 had high hopes…which is probably why the crash of “Prison Realignment” has been so bad, it had a long way to fall. The question I have now is when is failure, failure? At what point will our legislature (and our Governor) admit that good intentions simply weren’t enough? Yes, something has to be done about prison overcrowding, but releasing criminals back into society in recession with few jobs to go around and all but crippling our Bail industry, has only made matters worse.
Acting Chief of Police for Barstow, Albert Ramirez was quoted as saying, “What I can say is that these offenders know their consequences are going to be lower because of AB 109.” What happens when criminals know the consequences of their crimes will be lower? Does that make them more likely to break the law? I think so. Apparently, so does State Senator Sharon Runner who in a recent statement, called out AB 109 as the cause for crime increases across the state, and especially in low-income areas. Senator Runner is not the only authority that agrees with me.
Lieutenant Rick Roelle of the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department seems to agree in his recent media quote, “Crime is up and it’s because of AB 109”; he went on to say, “It’s a travesty. All these inmates are being released into the community...”; Lieutenant Roelle cautions us against the misconception that these offenders are so called, “non-serious, “They are not looking at the offender’s history, so once they are released they are reoffending”, said Roelle. “That’s why we see a large spike in burglaries and those types of crimes.”
Criminals are also hitting the streets sooner due to changes in the way bail works. Because of AB 109, jails don’t have the room to wait for someone to possibly bail out or not, so they are simply releasing many that have been arrested on their “own recognizance”, meaning that they essentially get a ticket and are released as if they had simply failed to come to a full and complete stop at a stop sign. Since they have no real motivation to go back to court and answer for the crime they are accused of, many of them do not. However, they were not bonded out, so there are no non-tax payer supported resources like Bail Enforcement Agents to go after them, instead they are just stacked onto the growing pile of Failure to Appears, where courts usually wait for them to encounter Law Enforcement again to be apprehended. This gives any actual criminals plenty of time to reoffend. The effect of AB 109 seems clear; it has put more criminals on the streets.
If we need to reduce prison headcount, then get creative. Look to our neighbor to the east for an example of creativity. Maricopa County pitched Korean War surplus tents to house their inmates…in the sweltering desert heat of Arizona. If they need more beds, no problem, they simply pitch more tents. There are hundreds, even thousands of miles of uninhabited land in the deserts of California where we could create very similar solutions. Some may say it would be more drastic, but I say that nothing is more drastic than releasing criminals back onto the streets alongside our mothers and our children. For the sake of the safety of our homes and our families it’s time to admit that AB 109 has failed, rescind or repeal it, and figure out another plan.
Bear Scott, Bail Enforcement Agent