The Need For Extreme Criminal Justice Reform In Ca

I.Basic Introduction and description – Introduce basic sides of Criminal
Law and Elaborate
II.General History and Development
– Discuss the history and modifications of Reform Laws in California
III.Main Problems and Concern Stimulants
– Point out real life statistics and point out incidents
– Point out the need for an extreme reform and what can be done
I. An analysis of Department of Corrections data by the Center on Juvenile and
Criminal Justice in San Francisco, CA, in Nov, 1995 indicates that since the
enactment of California’s “Three Strikes” law two years ago, 192 have “struck
out” for marijuana possession, compared to 40 for murder, 25 for rape, and 24
for kidnapping.

A. I have a strong proposition for the California Legislature…and that is a
strict and logical reform to the present Criminal Justice System in California.

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B. “The California Legislature is to be commended for its stance on crime. Not
for their “get tough” policies such as the “Three Strikes” law but for their
enactment of a little known section of the Penal Code entitled the “Community
Based Punishment Act of 1994.” (Senator Quentin Kopp, Time Magazine Feb 14,
1996) C. By passage of this act, the State of California has acknowledged the
limitations of incarceration as both punishment and a deterrent to criminal
behavior. D. The legislature has in fact declared that “California’s criminal
justice system is seriously out of balance in its heavy dependence upon prison
facilities and jails for punishment and its lack of appropriate punishment for
nonviolent offenders and substance abusers who could be successfully treated in
appropriate, less restrictive programs without any increase in danger to the
II.More facts, Opinions and Developmental Ideas
A. In essence, this law proposes a community based system of intermediate
restrictions for non-violent offenders that fall between jail time and
traditional probation such as home detention with electronic monitoring, boot
camps, mandatory community service and victim restitution, day reporting, and
others. B. Pilot programs are to be developed as a collaborative effort between
the state and counties requiring a community based plan describing the sanctions
and services to be provided. C. A progress report on an actof this kind would be
made by the California Board of Corrections on January 1, 1997 and annually
thereafter to selected legislative committees.

A. “It seems clear that the California Legislature has determined that
incarceration is not appropriate for many criminal offenses and that alternative
sanctions are preferable for non-violent offenders. ” (Randy Meyer, Political
Official) B. But while this approach is to be applauded, its spreading prevents
the fulfillment of its true potential. C. “By retaining those non-violent
offenders that are currently in state prison and continuing to pursue defensive
punishment at the local level in the form of short term “shock incarceration”
and bootcamps, the costly and ineffective methods of criminal behavior
correction remain intact.” (Charles Calderon-US News) D. By immediately
eliminating incarceration for all non-violent offenses and requiring victim
compensation and community service, resources can be committed to preventing
crime rather than to the feeding and housing of offenders. E. This is consistent
with the findings of the legislature and is cost efficient, requires minimal
systemic change, and increases public safety and security.

IV.The Proposal
A. “Our current criminal justice system appears to be based upon the Old
Testament proverb that “your eye shall not pity; it shall be life for life, eye
for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot.” Revenge thus plays a
part of the punishment model.” (LA Official Boland) From a societal standpoint,
we expect punishment to prevent the offender and others from further criminal
behavior. Incarceration of offenders as the punishment of choice thus
theoretically provides revenge, individual incapacitation, and restriction.

But I submit that such a philosophical foundation is flawed. Revenge while
understandable from an individual human perspective is not a proper basis for
society’s response to the misbehavior of its laws. This human urge to punish
should be removed from the current system and replaced with methods of
restrictions that utilize the offender’s potential to benefit his victim and
society at large. In other words, in a free society the end desired is the
correction of behavior that utilizes the least force . This conforms to the
principles of limited government, efficiency, reduced cost, and personal freedom
as advocated by both liberals and conservatives alike.

The basic underlying concept of this proposal is that incarceration should be
reserved for those who are violent and thus dangerous to the public. Violent
crimes would


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