Democratic Governor of California Gavin Newsom says his state is facing serious budget problems, and his solution: let criminals go free.
Newsom sent a revised budget to the lawmakers in the state that pointed to the closure of a number of prisons as a cost saving measure.
The budget looked to close two state prisons in the coming years and eventually closing all three state-run juvenile prisons.
These closures would put more criminals on the streets of Democrat hotspot California.
On top of that, the left-wing governor is after unspecified increases to sentencing credits that would enable inmates to serve shorter sentences.
Newsom also hopes to shorten parole to a maximum period of two years – dropping down from the current five years for felonies. This move would essentially leave ex-felons without supervision after only a year and only 18 months for sex offenders.
County officials, meanwhile called the governor’s radical plan unworkable, pointing out the failure of similar smaller proposals before.
California’s Chief Probation Officers President Brian Richart, said that those sent to the state facilities that Newsom wants to close “have the most serious needs, which if left unaddressed, pose the most serious risk to our communities.”
Crime Victims Alliance Director Christine Ward said she fears the state will reach a tipping point if more criminals are on the streets as a result of the governor’s ridiculous suggestion for cuts.
“We’re not talking about your small-time drug dealer. We’re talking about the most serious and violent felons in our state. That’s what’s left in our prisons,” she said.
Back in January Newsom said that he had plans to close a single unspecified adult prison at some point in the next five years.
With earlier releases often predicated on inmates participating in rehabilitation programs, his revised plan seeks to close one of the state’s 34 prisons by mid-2022 and a second a year later, eventually saving $400 million annually.
State Sen. John Moorlach, an accountant and the ranking Republican on two corrections oversight committees did welcomed the much needed savings but warned that this was the opposite approach they should take.
Moorlach said it might be even cheaper to use more private prisons, something the state has committed to ending. Prisons are often remote communities’ major employer, he cautioned, saying the governor is also imperiling unionized prison employees.
Newsome is also pleading to the federal government for a massive bailout as the coronavirus proved to be the last straw on a state that has been severely fiscally mismanaged by Democrats.
In response to this crisis alone Newsom has proven not only his ineptitude, but that of Democrats in general has in the midst of a financial crisis he continued to misallocate state funds, approving a $125 million stimulus package for illegal immigrants, awarding $753 million to a Chinese car company for unapproved N95 masks, and blowing $3 million to supervise inmates released early due to the crisis.