Sentencing law keeps 43,000 jailed

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week State voters failed to pass a measure to make it more lenient last year. The report, titled “Three Strikes: the Impact After More Than a Decade,” said there was “little consensus among researchers about the impact of three strikes on public safety, even after more than 10 years of application.” The report said fewer than half of the “strikers” imprisoned committed serious or violent crimes, such as rape, robbery and murder. The remainder comprise drug and property crimes such as burglary. In 2003, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld life terms under the measure, ruling the states were free to decide sentences. Inmates age 50 and older increased in the 10-year period – from 5,500 in 1994 to 16,300 last year. The report said it costs taxpayers about $35,000 annually to house an inmate and as much as $100,000 a year to incarcerate older inmates because of health issues. SACRAMENTO – About 43,000 inmates are in California prisons under the 1994 voter-approved “three strikes, you’re out” law, according to a Legislative Analyst’s Office report released Thursday. The cost to house them is $1.5 billion a year, the report from the nonpartisan state agency said. The sentencing law, one of the nation’s strictest, generally requires two-time felons to serve at least a 25-year sentence after being convicted of a third felony. Second-strikers, those convicted of two felonies, are imprisoned for double the time the offense would normally carry for a defendant without felony priors. Prosecutors have the discretion on whether to seek the higher sentences. The report found that blacks account for 37 percent of the striker population; Hispanics 33 percent and whites 26 percent – all of which is similar to the total inmate population of about 160,000. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more