Pubdate: Mon, 29 May 2006
Source: Los Angeles Times (CA)
Copyright: 2006 Los Angeles Times
Author: Jay Wachtel


Re "Sheriff Toughens the Rules on Early Release of Inmates"

Los Angeles County Dist. Atty. Steve Cooley's objection to early 
releases from the county's overstuffed jail system draws attention 
from a problem of his own making. Sheriff Lee Baca (of whom I am no 
fan) did not participate in the plea bargain that sentenced convicted 
robber Mario Moreno to county jail for possessing a sawed-off 
shotgun, a crime that qualifies for state prison time.

In a system so overburdened that it has become riddled with makeshift 
safety valves, dangerous criminals get their most significant "break" 
at the time of sentencing, inevitably transforming local jails into 
volatile urban penal colonies. Tweaking the output so that a select 
few will do nine months instead of three will do nothing more than 
provide an illusion of safety and further delay the fundamental 
corrections that the criminal justice system desperately needs.



Division of Politics, Justice and Administration

Cal State Fullerton
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