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The Madera Tribune

Prisoner transfer bill is a disaster

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webmaster | 05/10/13

The California Assembly Bill 109 enacted by the Legislature in October 2011 has proven disastrous to the citizens of California. The Bill was designed to reduce overcrowding in our 33 correctional facilities, and comply with a federal judge's order to provide adequate medical care for inmates. As a result of those two decisions the citizens now suffer an increase in home invasion robberies, home burglaries, car thefts and a total rise in parole related crimes.

Assembly Bill 109 (A.B. 109) designed to release low-level inmates to the custody of the county jails has lacked financial support and thus forced county sheriffs to release felons back to the community to commit additional crimes. When will our leaders ever learn? This same failed program was tried in California in the late 1970s and 80s. At that time it was called Probation and Parole Subsidies.

Counties were paid by the state to keep convicted felons out of the prison system and place them on probation or parole. Now here we go again, just change the name, with the same disastrous results. How soon our leaders forget, it was a low-level parolee who murdered two Oakdale students and then ate their hamburgers. It’s just a matter of time for a low level inmate to bring us back to reality.

Federal Judge, Lawrence Karlton has single handily cost the tax payers of California billions of dollars because of his desire to provide prison inmates with the best medical care possible. You only have to visit any local hospital near a prison and you will see an endless caravan of prison cars escorting inmates out to receive hospital care at taxpayer expense.

Judge Karlton uses the mental health issues as his basis to continue to hold the California Department of Corrections accountable for the treatment of inmates. It would seem reasonable that if the inmates are mentally ill they would be transferred to a mental health facility and leave the prison system to house prisoners who are wreaking havoc in our community.

Judge Karlton is a prime example of federal intervention into our state government. Regardless of cost to the taxpayers, he forces the state to spend billions of dollars on our misfits. It would be nice if Judge Karlton would be as concerned for our seniors currently housed in convalescent facilities. I applaud Gov. Brown in his efforts to get free from this judicial debacle.

It is noted that a few county sheriffs are beginning to speak out against the lack of financial support for A.B. 109 and their inability to house the increase in the criminal population. I would hope that they continue to put pressure on the Legislature to repeal this horrible law and lock up the criminals who now prey on our citizens.

Harlen A. Rippetoe,


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