Billed as a money-saving alternative to sentencing reduction and the early release of state prison inmates, newly proposed legislation by state Assemblyman Anthony Portantino (D- La Cañada Flintridge) would require prison officials to instead focus on lowering their dismal recidivism rates.
With as many as two-thirds of prison inmates ending up back behind bars within three years of release, according to Portantino, keeping offenders from reoffending would prevent crime and save the state millions of dollars.
“Prison reform is not letting people out of prison early — it’s stopping the tidal wave of returning prisoners. So much of the current debate has revolved around alternative sentencing and releasing inmates before they serve their full terms as a way to save money. When seven out of ten inmates return to prison, these approaches don’t reduce overall costs and don’t lower the crime rate,” Portantino said in a news release announcing the bill.