Under fire for an early-release program that freed many Los Angeles County inmates after they’d served just 10 percent of their time, Sheriff Lee Baca and District Attorney Steve Cooley are scheduled to announce today that all inmates must now serve at least 25 percent of their sentences before being eligible for release.

The new policy will take effect at the end of the year and will apply to all inmates sentenced to county jail.

Since Baca began releasing inmates early in mid-2002 as a result of budget problems, more than 150,000 inmates have been freed early, many after serving only 10 percent of their sentences.

Of those, about 16,000 were rearrested and charged with new crimes, including nearly 3,500 for violent offenses and at least 16 for murder.

“We are always looking for ways to do our job better,” Baca said Wednesday of the new plan. “We run the largest jail system in the world … This new policy will move us forward to where one day all inmates will serve the entire time required.”

Somewhere along the line, I think time off for “good behavior” became time off for showing up for breakfast.

The new rules would keep most inmates in jail longer, but some categories of criminals — including child molesters, spousal abusers and some other serious offenders — would see their sentences slashed.

This is because LA County prosecutors are concerned about “fairness”.

  1. Billabong says:

    This country puts far to many nonviolent prisoners in jail.We are releaseing sex offenders early so we can punish drug dealers.An insane choice that the system can’t change because of idiot politicians and District Attorney’s.

  2. joe says:

    simple solution make more crimes like rape &child molestation death penalty & allow only one appeal. once appeal is lost complete sentence for prisoner

  3. Jimbo says:

    #2, tell you what, we do that, but then if the case turns out to be bad and the guy gets off, execute the prosecutor!

    At any rate, a 10% recidivism rate doesn’t seem like a terrible thing. It doesn’t say what the conviction rate on the rearrests is, or what the charges were (jaywalking?). All in all, it’s not a very convincing tale.

  4. Jim Scarborough says:

    So long as the “corrections” system is bent on stripping people of any material assets they might have and consigning them to only the most menial of jobs after release – rather than any meaningful form of rehabilitation – talk of how long people are held is merely taps around the hammering of the real problem.

  5. Mike Voice says:

    Also having this problem in Portland, OR

    County Sheriff we have is obviously part of the problem….

    “As of right now, I am going to stop using the term, ‘corrections,’ to talk about what we do. We’re not correcting anyone. We’re warehousing them,” he said. “This is a jailin’ system — j-a-i-l-i-n, no ‘g.’ . . . We’re all about being the Arkansas of the West Coast. If that’s what people want, I can do that.”

    Class act, eh? 🙁

  6. koipoi says:

    I’m less worried about the drug offenders; more worried about tall those ex-cops getting out early…

  7. kballweg says:

    Oregon, right. The state that passes an expensive, unfunded, mandatory sentencing law by proposition, at the same time the conservative legislature was giving away a major portion of the tax base to corporations.

    But cheez Mike, I’m sure you are one of my fellow Oregonians who believe that there is plenty of money, if we would just screw some portion of the population (seniors, kids, disabled) other than you.

  8. OhForTheLoveOf says:

    #6 We’re all about being the Arkansas of the West Coast.

    That is hysterical. I will vote for that guy.

  9. doug says:

    #8. That is why I always thought that any state that has a referendum or initiative system should also have a provision that requires tax increases to fund things passed by the public. In other words, a vote for mandatory minimums is also a vote to increase taxes to pay for more jails and guards. people need to learn that “law and order” aint free.

  10. moss says:

    #10 — you mean like No Child Left Behind?

  11. joshua says:

    #11…moss….actually, yes!! No law that mandates spending by any goverment should be allowed to take effect without funding !!! No more passed along mandates from the feds to the states or the states to the counties, etc., etc.

    And if we are going to allow the legislature to forego it’s duty to pass the laws needed, by allowing them to become ballot propositions, then they should have 10% of their pay removed for each proplem they don’t solve that ends up on a ballot. In California this last election that would have been 70% of their salary’s.

  12. doug says:

    #12. Yeahbut, how many of those ballot initiatives are actually “needed”?

  13. joshua says:

    guess it depends on your meaning of needed. I have always favored ballot propisitions. But it’s now got to the point that the legislature is now putting them on the ballot rather than vote on issues. If they won’t do the job they were elected to do, then they should be eliminated.

  14. joshua says:

    Guess the Judges will have to start pushing up the minimums…say 100 to 200 years instead of 25 to life.

  15. yolanda says:

    i believe that all sex offenders and drug dealers should get their max sentence but here we are wasting money on driving these other inmates back and fourth for traffic tickets thats nonsense 25% on those people will work out even 5% to keep our jails ready for those child molesters


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