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Recidivism Is the Target

How do we work to address overpopulation at jails and prisons?

by Brian Leubitz

Sometimes you'll see some unlikely collaborations, and just kind of look askance at the written words. Sometimes you do a true double take, and that is exactly what happened upon reading this op-ed by Tim Silard, President of the Rosenberg Foundation, and Mike Jimenez, president of the California Correctional Peace Officers Association (CCPOA).

Counties also are tasked with dealing with California's recidivism rate, one of the highest in the nation, and local law enforcement must ensure that the state's revolving prison door problem does not become a county jail problem. A job is one of the best tools for reducing recidivism, and one solution is for the state and local officials to join forces to create multi-county re-entry facilities, again at less cost. Inmates nearing the end of their sentences can be trained and eased back into society, and given the job and life skills they need when they leave jail. (SacBee)

I've have enormous respect for Tim Silard, and his work on criminal justice reform. CCPOA, on the other hand, is known to be all over the map on prison reform.  A collaboration with a foundation that focuses on civil rights, and has a history with prison reform, isn't really all that expected. But there it is.

With realignment, counties will now be expected to take up a lot more of the slack. However, they need the tools and the resources for the state. With a 2/3 majority, Democrats need to move past any fears of "Willie Horton" ads. We simply cannot continue spending billions upon billions on warehousing inmates.

But there is a win-win opportunity here with programs like job training. They help reduce recidivism, saving us money, and also making our communities safer.

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