California District Attorneys Fight for Transparency to Keep Prisoners Off the Streets

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Governor Gavin Newsom and the California Department of Corrections have made decisions that would put Californians at great risk. The “criminal justice reform” project that is in place could release 76,000 inmates from state prisons a lot earlier than their original sentencing.

Surely, not all of the 76,000 inmates pose a problem to society. Some may have learned their lessons and some may not have committed grave crimes. Yet, many are still dangerous – and they could see years shaved off of their sentences.

While it’s unlikely that the early release of these prisoners will be seen this year, many will be released soon. As crime continues to surge, the idea of more prisoners on the streets is becoming concerning.

California district attorneys have decided to be realistic about what this could mean. They’ve decided to say, “enough is enough” and put an end to the potential early release of so many inmates.

Over 40 district attorneys have chosen to sign a petition to put an end to this criminal justice reform. DAs from such counties as Napa, Marin, and Solano have signed. The petition is being led by Anne Marie Schubert, the Sacramento District Attorney. The petition has been filed with the Secretary of the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation to repeal the temporary emergency regulations.

The 76,000 inmates would be awarded additional credits based on good behavior and working within the system. It could give them an early release much sooner than would allow their victims to feel as though justice was served.

The regulations were passed without any kind of real vote. It’s one of the ways Newsom has abused his power as governor, claiming an emergency. The problem is that some of the most violent criminals would be back on the streets. And prosecutors are concerned that it would put the public at risk.

Within the petition filed by Schubert, the DA explained “Allowing the early release of the most dangerous criminals, shortening sentences as much as 50%, impacts crime victims and creates a serious public safety risk.”

Schubert is requesting that the regulations be repealed. Then, the process can start over again but with greater transparency. Get the public to provide their input on such a move.

Victims and their families deserve a debate. Since these regulations are so drastic, they shouldn’t be simply pushed through as a “claim of emergency.”

Overcrowding of prisons doesn’t mean that there should be a release of dangerous prisoners. Especially when some were sentenced to 40 years or even life with the possibility of parole, victims don’t want to see their attackers released after serving only 20 years (and in some instances, even less.

What Schubert is asking for is not a lot – transparency and public input. Yet, this is not the way that Newsom has governed the state. He wants to be able to call all of the shots. And, still, he wonders why many are looking to recall him from office.

There are, of course, district attorneys who are missing from the petition. Los Angeles County DA George Gascon is not signing the petition, and it doesn’t surprise anyone. Gascon is looking to eliminate transparency. He’s also looking to transform the justice system by reducing racial disparities – though, really, he’s just allowing criminals to get away with more.

He believes that there are inequities in the system. Therefore, it’s not a stretch for him to see the release of 76,000 inmates into society as a good thing. He likely believes that they didn’t belong in there in the first place.

What’s important to note is that there are 58 counties in California – and district attorneys from 41 of them signed the petition. Clearly, there are even liberals who believe it’s important to protect the public. Is transparency really too much to ask? Perhaps from Governor Newsom, it really is.

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