In 2011, Gov. Jerry Brown signed Assembly Bill 109 and 117. This legislation has attempted to close the revolving door of low-level inmates cycling in and out of California state prisons. According to the state Department of Corrections, AB 109 and 117 are California’s solution for reducing the number of inmates in California’s 33 prisons to 137.5 percent by June 27, 2013.
“For too long, the state’s prison system has been a revolving door for lower-level offenders and parole violators who are released within months, often before they are even transferred out of a reception center,” Brown said in a press release on April 5, 2011. “Cycling these offenders through state prisons wastes money, aggravates crowded conditions, thwarts rehabilitation, and impedes local law enforcement supervision.”
The state’s solution to overcrowding in prisons is avoiding the real problem at hand in this country: the war on drugs.
Releasing non-violent criminals is not working. Prisoners convicted of things such as grand theft auto are being released early, but those are actual crimes for which one should serve time for.
Many Americans do not realize what putting someone in jail for drugs actually does to that person. It affects their family and their community, and more often than not the person abusing drugs has a problem that needs to be dealt with by rehabilitation, not punishment.
Drug abusers go through a lot of pain and attempt to self-medicate, especially if their economic standing is not the best, and what does the government do? The government tells them that they are going to give them a lot more pain and make the rest of their lives a living hell. For what? An ounce of marijuana.
Ironically, drug abusers are not the only addicts in this situation. In this country we run a prison industrial system where essentially it is a system of mass incarceration and this how many Americans and politicians make their living. Without the war on drugs many prisons across the country would lose many of their inmates.
The system of mass incarceration relies upon many people going in and out of the prison system. Prisons are now businesses and business is booming.
With a business that has tight ties with politics and money it would be hard for the drug war to end, but if we took a good look at what we are doing to drug abusers who need help, not punishment, they would see the moral move would be to end the war on drugs.