Wednesday, March 24, 2010

California Humonetarianism Hits the NYT

The developments and reforms in California corrections have drawn attention nationwide. Yesterday's New York Times included this story, which summarizes the recent developments in terms of prison releases and parole reform. The piece includes some data on the new releases, as well as reports of the backlash which we covered here several weeks ago, and some interviews with Mark Leno, Joan Petersilia, and others. The whole thing is an interesting read, but here's what grabbed me in particular:

Eric Susie, 24, recently had his parole terms readjusted under the new law. Mr. Susie had served 13 months in prison for possessing an M-80 firecracker wrapped with razors near a school (he argued, unsuccessfully, that it belonged to a friend).

Now, more than a year out of prison, he no longer reports to a parole officer or submits to monthly drug tests and can travel more freely, including out of state to visit family in Las Vegas.

“I feel like I am finally free,” Mr. Susie said. “I feel like I don’t have that monkey on my back, like being a prisoner. I feel like I am a human being and can get my life together.”

Even the guards’ union, which so heavily promoted and supported the tough sentencing of the past that fueled the prison building and expansion boom, now says it supports the idea of alternatives to prison and did not publicly object to the new law.

The overcrowding, union officials now say, poses a physical threat to its members, and the union has sided with plaintiffs battling in federal court to force even greater reductions of 40,000 inmates over the next two years.

Merci a mon ami en Maisons-Alfort, Simon Grivet, pour le liaison.


Simon Grivet said...

very honored!
it's Maisons-Alfort with an s as we have more than one house!

Take Care


Hadar Aviram said...

Fixed. Excuse moi!