We have plenty of money for Section 8 housing, EBT cards, SSI payments to people who aren’t really disabled, and so on and so on. But we apparently don’t have enough money for public safety:
State corrections officials are poised to drop the arrest warrants of thousands of parole violators, releasing them from state supervision at a time when their detention would complicate efforts to ease crowding in state and county lockups.
The Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation intends to begin a massive review next week of more than 9,200 outstanding warrants, starting with individuals who were convicted of nonviolent crimes and absconded from supervision. Over the next eight months, parole field offices across the state will be given lists of missing felons, 200 at a time, to review and determine if retaining them on parole “would not be in the interest of justice.”
What could possibly go wrong?
Gillam said the mass reviews overlook the value of leaving outstanding warrants in law enforcement computer systems, especially for routine matters such as traffic stops. “The warrant is a warning, to alert the officer that this guy is a problem,” he said.
Gillam and others said parole agents are under pressure to release felons from state supervision as soon as possible.
Those criticisms come as the corrections department reacted to a report in the Fresno Bee on Friday that the man who killed two people at a chicken processing plant in Fresno earlier this week, then killed himself, was released from parole over the objections of his parole agent. The gunman, Lawrence Jones, was freed from prison in June 2011 and discharged from parole in May, even though his parole agent deemed him a danger.
It’s a little tough to keep your finger in the dike when people are going around willy nilly chopping huge gaping holes in it with an axe.