California Governor Gavin Newsom just authorized the release of 8,000 more criminals because of COVID-19, which will bring the total early releases in California to 18,000 by the end of August.
Even felons incarcerated for violent crimes will be eligible for early release. According to Politico:
The state will also launch a one-time program under which those incarcerated in state prisons, including people serving time for violent felonies, will receive a credit shortening their sentences by three months.
The program does exclude prisoners with death sentences or life without parole. It also excludes prisoners with recent rule violations.
Early release is supposed to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 in California’s 33 state prisons that house more than 100,000 prisoners. According to the Wall Street Journal: “More than 6,700 prisoners and 1,300 corrections employees in California have tested positive for the virus.”
Advocates for early release argue that the spread of COVID-19 in prison is caused by close quarters and lack of access to good health care, but a significant amount of the spread was caused by two prisoner transfers from COVID positive prisons without quarantining. The prisons involved are Chino, San Quentin, and a Lassen facility. Prison officials did not observe basic COVID practices like testing and quarantining transferees to prevent the spread.
But for leftist criminal justice warriors, COVID-19 has been a boon. They don’t believe anyone should be incarcerated and COVID is providing an excuse to release thousands of convicted criminals into California’s general population. The governor and the media are playing along with them and pretending that early release will make coronavirus in the prisons just go away.
Most people probably think that releasing almost 20,000 prisoners would endanger public safety, but they would be wrong according to Gavin Newsom and organizations like Californians for Safety and Justice (a project of the leftist organization Tides) who claim that releasing prisoners early will make every Californian safer.
In a classic example of Orwellian double-think, Jordan said, “We’re glad the Governor is taking action to release more people. This is absolutely critical for the health and safety of every Californian. Too many people are incarcerated for too long in facilities that spread poor health. Supporting the health and safety of all Californians means releasing people unnecessarily incarcerated and transforming our justice system.”
What do you think? Are people safer when criminals are released early? Are too many people incarcerated unnecessarily? Scroll down to the comment section and tell us what you think.