Monday, March 23, 2009

California's Parole System Is Broken

By Robert Gammon
Mon, Mar 23, 2009 at 10:13 AM

It looks like Lovelle Mixon killed four Oakland cops because he didn't want to want go back to prison on a minor parole violation. According to the Chron, the 26-year-old ex-felon was facing a mandatory six months for failing to show up to a meeting with his parole officer. Which begs the obvious question, is supervised parole even a good idea? When a convict finishes doing his time behind bars, why isn't he just released back into society? Is there any proof that supervised parole actually helps ex-cons adjust to life outside of prison? Or is it simply a system of strict rules that sets ex-cons up for failure? Or worse, is it a system that propels former prisoners to act rashly and do anything to avoid being put back behind bars?

The Trib has an interesting piece today about a Little Hoover Commission report on the failings of California's parole system and determinate sentencing that was ignored when it was released in 2007. It looks like we're long overdue for an overhaul.

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