Note: Originally published January 31st, due to an oversight this article was not designated as the 'Spotlight' item. As a result, it was buried. It is being republished for your consideration.-
Governor Brown, this is your kingdom come
By Richard Krupp, PhD.
Governor Brown had big plans for the California prison system when he took office two years ago–big dreams. He wanted to dump about 40,000 prison inmates on the communities and not have them commit crimes. The foundation of this scheme was to only release “low-level, non-serious offenders.” It almost sounded like these criminals were in prison by some unfair twist of fate. Maybe they were mere irritants–not real criminals.
These poor lost souls would be provided with first rate “evidence-based programs” to cure them of any short comings. No need for incarceration, they would become law-abiding citizens. The counties would be able to correct the behavior of those who failed the last time they were “treated” or jailed in county facilities. For those a little bit worse off, a short stint in county jail or electronic monitoring would suffice.
Unfortunately all of these plans were based on theories of misguided and ignorant “experts.” In the words of Yogi Bera, “You've got to be careful if you don't know where you are going 'cause you might not get there. The future ain't what it used to be.”
Without acknowledging the failure of these dreams built on foolish theories, the Governor is changing his tune. Brown recently said the “prisons are not overcrowded as a matter of fact,” and that the number of prisoners the state needs to reduce as stipulated by the courts is “arbitrary.” and that “California is doing well by our prisoners and we should not be putting more and more money into this system or letting out more and more people.”
The Governor should be talking about the growing crime rates and harm to public safety. If he is going to take on the Supreme Court he should speak the truth. The “experts” and dreamers were wrong. Nassim Taleb in The Black Swan states, “Let governments predict (it makes them feel better about themselves and justifies their existence) but do not set much store by what they say.”
Can you say no to the Supreme Court? Maybe the Governor should read State Courts Unbound by Fredrick M. Bloom for some ideas. Here are some of his thoughts.
“We don't think that state courts disobey finding Supreme Court precedent, but occasionally state courts do. In a number of important cases state courts have actually defied apposite Supreme Court doctrine. And often it is the Court itself that invited them to.”
From Demons by Imagine Dragons, “When your dreams all fail and the one you hailed was the worst of all; you want to hide the truth. This mess you made. This is where your demons hide. This is your kingdom come.”