State Betrays Public Safety
The “Safe Neighborhoods and Schools Act” introduced in CA congress in 2014 dresses down public safety.
It’s been a short while since I’ve written any articles, but I’m back on track with some interesting developments on the California “lifer” litigation. If you think any of this information does not pertain to you, you may be surprised. If you live in California, this affects you. If you have children, even more so. Public safety is traded down for prison overcrowding relief.
I had not written because I have been deeply involved in preparing evidence and lining up witnesses to prove a case. There are legislators who support the prison complex, and pass laws to maintain its growth and industrial wellness. In 2014, CA congress introduced “The Safe Neighborhoods and Schools Act” (Prop 47). It was backed 100% by the CDCR (prison) folks. All it does is re-label a bunch of felonies into misdemeanors so that the prisons can legally release a bunch of short-timer felons, in order to be able to comply with the federal overcrowding injunctions against them. The “Safe Neighborhoods and Schools Act” labels things like burglary and auto theft a misdemeanor. So if someone breaks your car window and steals your iPOD or iPAD, if the damage is $950 or less, you get to watch the cops give them a citation and walk away. No jail. But don’t worry, these are in the 73% recidivists rate, so they’ll eventually make it back into jail or prison. They’re the “repeat customers” the CDCR counts on for its continued growth. The legislators who campaign on the “tough on crime” stump are the ones who will later use that statistic to get your vote, and build new prisons with lots of campaign “contributions” ‘from the CDCR and CCPOA folks.
I only hope that the kids who have things stolen from them by dedicated adult thieves who know the new ticket penalty don’t end up hurt over their property. If you think I’m catastrophizing, just email and ask Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer what he has to say. He can give you exact stats on this. Meanwhile, even Jerry Dyer won’t support the release of any “lifer”, because of course, we’re in here for murder and the like. Never mind that we have a less-than .05% (half-percent) re-offense rate and a less-than 1% recidivism rate — YES, even since I wrote the first Butler article and the parole release rates have gone up. You’d better hope it’s not YOUR child in juvenile hall. That’s the CDCR farm team, where they prepare the little delinquents for future CDCR “services”, instead of TREATING them.
At this juncture, the lifer litigation is on a collision course with the Board of Parole Hearings and its bosses. I submitted a copious amount of evidence and witnesses to show that the Board has been acting criminally, not just disobeying the law. CRIMINALLY. And yes, they have been. In case you need proof, a Magistrate Judge in the U.S. District Court recently found, which means a trial was held and findings of fact were made, that the Board of Parole Hearings created the “Forensic Assessment Division”, which is a panel of psychologists who work only for the Board, to produce “evidence” AGAINST lifers, which would prejudice them at parole hearings. The way it was done is that the psychologists were given a protocol for assessing the risk of danger to the public. That protocol consists of three psych evaluation tools that they know to be inaccurate. They invariably produce findings of risk higher than what the inmate actually presents to the public.
In 2006, when the Board first introduced the FAD protocol, they commissioned a panel of ACTUAL psychologists to endorse the evaluation tools and the panel resoundingly rejected the entire process. Still, the Board lied to the public and the rulemaking committee. The entire FAD was placed on hold after an investigation was conducted by the Office of Administrative Law (OAL) who oversees administrative (State regulatory) laws and rulemaking.
I distinctly remember writing an article just before this one where I spoke about those state regulations and the process. Well, this is one of those processes. In this case, the Board had a “friend” on the inside at the OAL, and literally overnight, the ruckus went away, and the FAD was put into full effect. Now however, the U.S. District Court has found all these facts, and I can’t help but imagine that every single prisoner who had to spend extra years in prison unnecessarily as a result of those “psychic readings” the Board was using to deny parole to worthy lifers, will have a liability claim to proceed with against the State. In 1976, the State changed the purpose of incarceration from rehabilitation to punishment. The CA Department of Corrections added an “R” to “CDC” to try and make you think they’re in the business of rehabilitation. The only time they really are is when the desperate public throws money around for programs that might lower crime. They take the money, create a program, then abandon it shamelessly and watch it fail. Another federal grant just arrived; let’s see how long the circus stays in town for.
And so, I will conclude this piece without gloating. I simply invite you to fact-check these claims. Every claim I have made to date in these articles has been true or come to fruition. The solution will not come from the State; the solutions will come from YOU, and will affect YOU and YOUR children and public safety. And folks, I do mean PUBLIC SAFETY, not “public safety” as the State likes to use it (“public safety” = prison industrial complex growth and survival).
Johnson v. Shaffer, Eastern District Cal. Case No. 2:12-cv-01059-KJM-AC (Document 62)
Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer
Fresno Sheriff Margaret Mims
CA Correctional Peace Officers Association (CCPOA)
Until my next, I sign off.
Written by Rodolfo “Rudy” Gonzalez Jr. while incarcerated in California.