Opinion » Letters

Make up your own mind on Proposition 57



In response to the Oct. 13 article “Law enforcement speaks out against Proposition 57”—a press conference leads to articles in both The Tribune and New Times

It might have been fair to see that kind of coverage for those in favor of the proposition. The California Chief Probation Officers Association (who better understands the reality of the inmate population), the governor of California, and the editorial board of the Los Angeles Times as well as many others are voting yes on Proposition 57. The Times had it right when stating that “Prop. 57 is a much-needed check on prosecutorial power.” 

I will share what the proposition states: Proposition 57 keeps dangerous offenders locked up (does any reasonable person think they would do otherwise?). It would only allow parole consideration for people with non-violent convictions who complete the full prison term for their primary offense. 

Dan Dow, SLO County DA, states, “The proposition is only being proposed to stop overcrowding.” Not true, but why is that a bad thing? The U.S. has the highest incarceration rate in the world, and it has exploded by 500 percent in the last two decades. Prosecutors have one objective and that is in direct conflict with their current ability to charge juveniles as adults: Proposition 57 requires judges instead of prosecutors to make that determination; Proposition 57 authorizes a system of credits used for rehabilitation, good behavior, and education. Currently, inmates leave prison without rehabilitation, re-offend, and cycle back into the system. No one is automatically released, or entitled to release from prison, under Proposition  57. 

To be granted parole, all inmates, current and future, must demonstrate that they are rehabilitated and do not pose a danger to the public. The Board of Parole Hearings, made up of law enforcement officials, determines who is eligible for release. Any individuals approved for release will be subject to mandatory supervision by law enforcement. 

Please don’t believe the scare opinions; read the proposition for yourself.

-- Carol Keller - Arroyo Grande

-- Carol Keller - Arroyo Grande

Add a comment