Pubdate: Mon, 28 Jan 2013
Source: Daily Breeze (Torrance, CA)
Copyright: 2013 Los Angeles Newspaper group
Author: Stephen Downing


Re "Long Beach property crime increase due in part to AB 109 early 
releases, police say" (Jan. 20):

Long Beach police allege that property crime increases are due to 
prison realignment, but they have nothing to back it up. Their 
supporting data is absent, just as it was when they pointed to Long 
Beach marijuana dispensaries as "magnets of crime" - another 
counter-intuitive product of their unwillingness to think critically 
and challenge the dominant theory of their organizational culture. 
According to Police Chief Jim McDonnell, 4,000 fewer people are in 
the prison system - people with a history of property crimes, of 
thefts and burglaries and other nonviolent offenses. Without any 
facts to back it up, perhaps the chief should consider the fact that 
those 4,000 people were not all "serial" property thieves, and were 
absorbed into a statewide population approaching 33 million - not 
just among the 462,000 folks living in Long Beach. The realignment 
legislation is finally forcing "smart on crime" solutions to the 
economic, social and human costs that the "tough on crime" extremists 
shoved down our throats the past 30 years. It's time to stop 
listening to their zealotry and start listening to those who are 
working to save us from the mass imprisonment, social damage and 
economic plunder that's made our nation's incarceration rate the 
highest in the world.

- - Stephen Downing, Long Beach The letter writer is a retired LAPD 
deputy chief of police and a board member of Law Enforcement
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