Recently, a blog by The Fly referred to some cops in its title as “Rogues”—few of us who live and work Downtown see it that way. We admire and appreciate them greatly. But here’s a group of dangerous people that we should be worried about.
Very, very soon, three federal judges will be deciding whether to free 52,000 of California’s 172,000 prison inmates because of overcrowding. And we have to ask the question: “Haven’t we tried this before—and with disastrous results?”
And the answer of early parole, foolish paroles, and paroles that defy all logic by retuning violent offenders to ordinary and often poor neighborhoods, was a horrible and blood-curdling failure. Innocent families suffered badly. Tens of thousands had their lives ended or changed in ways too horrible to recount. It makes the fear of police seem absurd in comparison.
It is happening again.
One of the three, U.S. District Judge Thelton Henderson, already determined in 2005 that California’s prison health care system is so bad that it’s unconstitutional. He put the system in receivership. Now he is demanding $8 billion to renovate the system.
Inmates are not only running the asylum, they will soon free themselves.
These are rogues of a dangerous kind, and they are putting all of us in danger.
Debra Saunders in the SF Chronicle reported that Michael Rushford, president of the Criminal Justice Legal Foundation, recently figured out that inmates live longer on the inside than on the outside, and they live longer on the inside than outsiders live. He found all this in a study, “Release from Prison—A High Risk of Death for Former Inmates.”.
The leading cause of death for released inmates was drug overdose, followed by cardiovascular disease, homicide, suicide, cancer and motor-vehicle accidents. It’s dangerous out there.
Apparently prisons—even prisons with shabby health facilities—provide a healthier environment than what most criminals are used to. And we are now freeing them to wreak violence in ways we have seen before. It will be a tragedy for Downtown San Jose, a big one, as it will be for the entire city.
Do these “rogues in robes” understand that up to 47 percent of the California prison population are repeat violent offenders, and many of the rest are first-time felons who committed serious crimes against people, like rape and murder? Their actions are outrageous and largely unobserved.
Do these judges live in secure gated communities? I’d bet so. If they lived in poor neighborhoods or center cities they might know a bit more about the dangers of urban life, but with an out-of-touch group of jurists such as them, willing to worry about the health of convicted criminals, and caring little about the safety of innocent citizens, we can only expect a very bad result. Then we’ll certainly need a cop in blue to protect us. Rogues, indeed.