Pubdate: Sun, 17 Jan 1999
Source: Oakland Tribune (CA)
Copyright: 1999 MediaNews Group, Inc. and ANG Newspapers 
Contact:  Gerald M. Sutliff


Dear Editor,

Dan Walters (1-14-99) writes about Governor Davis's budget problems
saying that "while prison operations are technically discretionary, if
fact...they are not."  Wrong!  The huge numbers of mostly non-violent
prisoners in California's prisons are driven by irrational fear,
political cowardliness and the state's own version of the racist War
on Drugs.

150,000 prisoners times $25,000 (estimated amount to house a prisoner
after the $30,000 cell is built) is $3.75 billion per year and
growing.  The governor's office is not without the power to do what is
needed to stop this cancerous growth that is destroying families,
wrecking futures and shrinking the education budget.  He needs a great
deal of political courage. Here's hoping.

Gerald M. Sutliff
6400 Emeryville CA 94608-1024 
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