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Downum Frowns On Tentative Court Ruling For Early Prisoner Release

San Andreas, CA — Calaveras County Sheriff Dennis Downum states candidly that “It’s ludicrous to me that this federal court would even consider this especially since they are basing their information on material that is five to seven years old.”

Monday the three judge panel concluded that overcrowding in the prisons is the primary cause of the state’s failure to provide constitutional levels of medical and mental health care to inmates in two previously filed cases. Ultimately the court determined that the population should be reduced to “at most” 120 percent (58,400 inmate reduction) to 145 percent (37,650 inmate reduction) of design capacity which is 83,000. Currently California prisons house 159,000 inmates. The average figure of inmates that would receive early release is 48,000.

Downum added that, “With a current recidivism rate of 70 percent and a total lack of employment due to the economic downturn, it is obvious that a substantial amount of the early releases would return to a life of crime after receiving only a bus ticket and $200 when they are released.”

Downum remains thankful that the tentative ruling is being appealed by a number of parties including the California State Sheriffs Association.

Written by bill.johnson@mlode.com