California Prison System Essay

895 Words Apr 27th, 2014 4 Pages
M7A1 Case Study 3:
California Prison System














AB 109 and AB 117 were introduced to ease the pressure of the federal and state budget through saving costs on the penitentiary system. In this regard, the reduction of the prison population and the transfer of a part of the prison population to county jails was one of the main provisions of AB 109 but AB 117 actually discharges provisions of AB 109. Such a paradoxical situation is the result of scarce financial resources to fund the penitentiary system at both the federal and local level. In order to reduce the pressure on the penitentiary system at the federal level, the decision to transfer the prison population to county jails or to release the
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However, such a decision is apparently ineffective, taking into consideration the fact that such a decision just shifts the burden of funding the penitentiary system from the federal budget to the local budget level. In other words, the policy makers just shift the problem from the federal to the local level but they fail to resolve the problem. This is why AB 109 was followed by AB 117 that actually discharged provisions of AB 109.
The current policies focus at the consistent social change since the traditional punitive orientation of the criminal justice system turns out to be ineffective. As the crime rates keep growing, the public demands the introduction of more severe punishment for offenders, while prisons are overcrowded. Moreover, the growing crime rates among juveniles increase the public pressure on the criminal justice system as the public demands the introduction of severe punishment and imprisonment of juvenile offenders. However, the penitentiary system cannot imprison as much population as the public demands at the moment, while the imprisonment turns out to be ineffective in terms of the prevention of crimes and recidivism. In such a situation, the public is unprepared to the essential social change, when the imprisonment should be replaced by other, less strict and repressive forms of punishment. Policy makers should have…