Letters to the Editor

August 20, 2014

Correctional system analysis way overdue!

Re "Prison drop crowding county jails" (Capitol & California, Aug. 20): In the 1960s, California had the best statewide correctional system in the country. The state actually analyzed and operated corrections as a system rather than dealing with 58 county and two state systems.

The premier system gradually devolved into an incredibly dysfunctional system. Avoidable prison overcrowding resulted in the court order to reduce prison capacity. Violation rates were allowed to increase dramatically. Failure to plan and manage the massive correctional system wasted billions.

The added costs had to come from somewhere, and it probably was a major reason for education budget shortfalls. The last systemwide analysis was conducted in 1971. Unfortunately for taxpayers, there appears to be no interest in conducting another system-wide analysis even though it would probably reveal opportunities for the State to save billions.

It is doubtful that corrections will even come up as an issue in the election.

-- Rich McKone, Lincoln

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