Wednesday, May 20, 2009

CDCR Layoffs: Related to Undocumented Inmates?

Everyone is having it rough in the correctional system, not least of all prison guards and correctional personnel. It seems that more than 3,600 of the 5,000 layoff notices were sent to CDCR employees (yesterday's elections are not making it easy to balance the State checkbook). The lists have not been yet presented to the unions, but the decisions take into account seniority. These dire prospects fall on a fertile ground; CCPOA has been disgruntled with the administration for quite a while now. In an interview with the Sac Bee's State Worker, CCPOA Acting President Chuck Alexander reflects on the problematic aspect of focusing most of the layoffs on prison guards, and brings up a surprising issue:

CA: Well, the layoffs assume you can move 19,000 illegals out of the system. But we've always had the ability to do that. We've advocated for the last three years a look at the undocumented aspect of the prison population and turn them over to the feds, or send back across the border.

TSW: The administration says it will release or transfer low-level offenders.

CA: The problem is that most of those 19,000 have already been rejected (for transfer out of the system) because they're violent offenders. (The plan) is a sham. I would venture to guess that most of those 19,000 -- if there are that many in the prison system -- have an enhancement or serious violent felony.

The connection between these two problems is quite interesting; the problem of undocumented immigrant inmates, as it turns out, runs heavy and deep. At our conference in March, Angie Junck from the Immigrant Legal Resource Center discussed the challenges dealing with the situation, which involve inaccurate litmus tests based on the inmates' last names; placing suspected undocumented immigrants on a "hold" that lengthens their imprisonment time; and facing not only less privileges while in prison, but also harsh conditions at the center for deportation following the prison experiences. Is this population really what would make a big difference for CCPOA? And are we sure that shipping them off to the feds would result in budget savings (gien the lengthier prison times)?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

what if you send those big time offending illegals back to mexico and their government lets them go. of course they will be right back over here because they are probably part of some big organized gang. Now if you keep them here in our system it usually cost about 30 to 50 thousand dollars a year per person for their imprisonment.

Tough call, but I would just make our prison system one of production. Meaning each prison inmate works for their needs. Put them to work, chain gang style if you want, so that at the end of each day they are so exhausted that they dont have energy to become worse through the corruption that exists in prison. Also teach them how to learn, study, work and attribute to something. What I mean is give them the option to not work for 3 hours a day in order to go to prison school systems. Most will take it and be happy to learn so they dont have to slave all day in the fields, roads, whatever work we assign them. Also make them work at having the privilage to be there by putting a minimum grade requirement that if they fall below that grade they go back to the hard work all day long. do this and I assure you criminals will study and learn how to become citizens by giving them good attributes and the knowledge to break away from the lifestyle they most likely have grown up with.