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California Prison System -

       According to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, their current budget is a almost $11 billion to oversee and supervise 316,229 offenders at an average cost of $49,00 per inmate. There are 33 state prisons, 40 camps, and 12 community correctional facilities. Males comprise 93% of the inmate population and females are 7%. 39% are Hispanic, 29% are black, and 26% are white. We have nearly 24,000 people serving life sentences while 680 are on death row. The average age is 37. Three are approximately 124,000 people on parole. The return rate as a parole violator is 51%.

Prison Population - Global and State Level

       The United States has 2.3 million people in custody. For comparison purposes, China trails with 2.3 million people in custody. The per capita incarceration rate in the U.S. is the highest in the world. According to the Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice, approximately one million of the people incarcerated in the U.S. are for committing nonviolent crimes.

       It is interesting to note that the three states (Maine, Minnesota and Rhode Island) with the lowest rate of incarcerated people have the lowest deaths from guns. The three statesthat have the highest rate of incarcerated people (Louisiana, Texas and Mississippi) have the highest death rates from guns.


       In 2009, federal judges tentatively ruled that California must reduce the number of inmates in it overcrowded prison system in order to stop the constitutional violation of the prisoners' rights.The judges found that the prisons were operating at 200% of their legal capacity.

Juvenile Prison System

       The juvenile system is actually worse. The United States is the only country in the world that permits a juvenile to be sentenced to life without the possibility of parole. California currently has more than 200 juvenile offenders who will never be set free, never have a hearing to see if they have repented, never have any progress reports to find out if they are no longer a threat. California is also only one of four states that will keep a juvenile offender until age 25.

       There are just six remaining juvenile prisons for the state's most serious offenders. There are only 1,600 juveniles in state custody (as opposed to local, county custody). The average cost to the state is currently $250,000 per juvenile. Since the state is currently in a budget crisis, the current proposal is for the state to send these serious offenders back to the 58 counties and let the counties deal with the costs.

- Written by , Attorney at Law





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