LA Times, "Californians would rather ease penalties than pay more for prisons"
A Los Angeles Times-USC survey shows 60% of Californians—Republicans and Democrats alike—favor reducing sentences of third-strike offenders convicted of property crimes if it helps relieve prison overcrowding and avoids higher taxes or program cuts. Nearly 70% said they favor early release of low-level, non-violent offenders, and about 80% approve of keeping such criminals in county jails instead of state prisons. - HTN Foundation
By Jack Dolan, Los Angeles Times
July 21, 2011
Reporting from Sacramento
Cash-strapped Californians would rather ease "third-strike" penalties for some criminals and accept felons as neighbors than dig deeper into their pockets to relieve prison overcrowding, a new poll shows.
In the wake of a court order that the state move more than 33,000 inmates out of its packed prisons, an overwhelming number of voters oppose higher taxes — as well as cuts in key state services — to pay for more lockup space.
The survey, by The Times and the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences, shows a clear shift in attitude by residents forced to confront the cost of tough sentencing laws passed in recent decades.
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