Thursday, February 04, 2010

Enjoy your fail, Anon.

In a strangely specific, and slightly confusing comment, Anonymous attacked my post about the Ca. prisoner early release program. The comment reminded me of this one. Once I hit my sitemeter, it all came together.

I made my reply, but it ran long, so it gets its own post.


First; nice try playing the impartial concerned citizen when you have a dog in the fight. My sitemeter indicates you came from "Los Angeles Unified School District" and you came here on a search for "california prison early release 2010 -quinn -texas -florida -illinois." You know as well as I do that the single most costly thing in California is the teachers' union. But you did a good job diverting attention by bashing the police unions, and complaining about reducing spending.

My advice for next time? Do your little "comment spam will change the hearts and minds" project from home, say things like "the police unions" instead of "LAPD union (LAPPL), California Correctional Peace Officers Association (CCPOA)" (but I guess that wouldn't hit all the google searches you wanted), and try to stick with the parlance of the original post. I wrote "special parole" and you wrote "non-revocable parole," which is the correct terminology, and indicates you are more well versed with the issue than Joe Citizen. Don't pretend you know the author either. That last bit about the only criminals I don't charge is the politicians? Yeah. No. Just tells me you don't read the blog, and are trying to push an agenda.

Now that it has been established that you are a employee of the state, and support spending reductions on everything but your section of the budget (which is also the largest section of the budget), we can get started on your comment.

You are right on the first bit, he would have been tried anyway had he not been on non-revocable parole. I kind of had that realization in the middle of the post, and was unclear on that. However, that statement stands for lesser crimes. Drug possession, associating with gang members, trespassing, and other minor violations that would put parolees back into prison, are instead treated by cops with a slap on the wrist, or not identified at all. You see, when you're on parole, you can be searched at any time for any reason, and if found in violation, you go back to jail. On non-revocable parole, cops don't even know the parolee is on parole, because he's not in the system as a parolee. So not only are they not scrutinized as much, minor violations go unpunished (bigger fish, and all that. not saying I agree with it). If they had to bring every parole violation into court, the courts (already stressed) would be years, if not decades behind in processing. And you know you can't hold someone for 10 years before a trial. They'd be released. Parole violation was the vehicle for skipping that serious flaw in our justice system. But it's not there now.

Had you read the article, you would have known the inmate WAS released early as part of this program. Honestly, it was not that much earlier, but the facts remains. This guy would have violated had he been released 16 days early, or 16 days late, but the point is that he was an obvious danger, and he was still eligible as a "low risk" offender. The point of this post is to show that the bureaucratic definition of "low risk" is not the same as the victim's definition of "low risk."

As for "unless all the facts don't support your point of view," you were right on saving money with a parole violation on this particular case, but in every other case, the county would have to try each violation they would normally simply toss under parole violation. That does cost money. The danger is that the county will simply NOT try these cases. I will admit this case was anomalous in that the violator was going to do what he wanted no matter the threat. I'm not really worried about the guys who get caught their first day out. I'm much more worried about the violators who spend 6 months testing the system after they get out, confirming, and getting used to not being treated by the cops like they're on parole (most have been on parole 100% of the time they are out of prison since their teens), and grow bolder when they realize they can carry drugs, or knives, or guns without being searched every time the police drive by, and elevate their crimes with a feeling of invincibility. I think it'll really take six months before we truly start feeling these guys at our doors, and throats. This is something you should be concerned about too, Anon. You're a Californian too.

While I don't support the money the unions are getting, it's not their fault. All they did was their job, try to get better pay and benefits for their members. That's what unions are supposed to do, and you can't complain about them doing what they are meant to do. The real problem is the politicians who agreed to these contracts knowing they'd get free union money for reelection, and be termed out before the pension bomb went off, living fat on their retirement/investments. They're the real criminals. However, the unions are not blameless. They are the ones who kept asking for more money, and CONTINUE to ask for more money (yours included) even though the state has spent all it could borrow, and run out of credit. But the unions in this case are more interested in the unions than the members. When the money runs out, and your paychecks start coming as IOUs, they'll just tell you to go on strike, and let you twist for what would have to be decades of fiscal recovery.

But don't worry, with the union teachers on permanent strike, the state will be forced to offer serious tax breaks for private schools, which will begin popping up all over the state mere months after the strike starts. This will solve the education crisis in California, and in a generation or two, we just might be back at the top of our game again.

Enjoy your fail.

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