Thanks to a glitch in a computer program meant to determine low-risk offenders eligible for release, the state of California recently released an estimated 450 inmates with a “high risk for violence.” And what’s worse? They don’t feel the need to actually track these guys down and bring them back. No Big Deal.
California is both a terminally over-populated and terminally lazy state and because this is America where we lock up 90% of our people the California prisons are filled to the brim with your everyday car thieves, gang members, drug dealers and pathological murderers. Recently the Supreme Court passed a ruling saying that the Golden State had to release tens of thousands of inmates that were ‘needless(ly) suffering’ due to overcrowding issues which had grown so out of control that in some locations up to 200 prisoners were living in a gymnasium with upwards of 54 inmates having to share one toilet.
The tech-savvy Californians were already on top of it though having created a computer program back in January 2010 used to identify low-risk offenders and release them on what’s known as “non-revocable parole” – which means they don’t have to check in with their PO or anything. But the program was deeply flawed and according to a recent study it may have accidentally released 450 inmates with a “high risk for violence” back into the general population. Oh, and an additional 1,000 prisoners with a high risk of committing “drug crimes, property crimes and other offenses” as well. The state has made absolutely no effort to return of these felons to lock-up which is cool because since they already don’t have to check in with a parole officer they’re probably long gone anyway. So that’s nice.
“Under the law that created non-revocable parole, inmates are excluded if they are gang members, have committed sex crimes or violent felonies or have been determined to pose a high risk to reoffend based on an assessment of their records behind bars.”
It seems that while the system was set up to use the Department of Justice records to reference which offenders were “high risk” or not, the DOJ records themselves were incomplete. Nearly half of the state’s 16.4 million arrest records lacked conviction information.
Using 200 of the case files for the 10,134 inmates released during the first seven months of the program as a test sample, the investigators found that of those 200 inmates, 31 were found ineligible and nine were determined likely to commit violent crimes. Therefore according to that 15% error rate the investigators encountered they estimated that 450 “high risk” convicts are now roaming the streets thanks to the program. Prison officials dispute the claims saying that since the testing period they’ve fixed several of the problems in the system and that the error rate should be around 8% instead.
In July a man by the name of Javier Joseph Rueda decided to open fire on two LAPD officers, hitting one in the arm before the police were forced to put him down. Rueda of course was considered a “low level offender” by the system and released on non-revocable parole.
Not even to touch upon the subject of whether or not rehabilitation is even possible in today’s modern corporate prison hellholes, it should still be questioned why the state would release roughly 1,400 people at high risk for some serious crimes and not even bother making an effort to return them behind bars.