California releasing prisoners

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The NYT has an article titled California, in Financial Crisis, Opens Prison Doors. The gist is, because of their budget problems, California will be releasing 6500 of its 167,000 prisons (yeah, that's right, 167000!). Thye don't specify what criteria are being used to decide who's being released, but they don't seem to be very good. For example (from the article):
To slow the return of former inmates to prison for technical violations of their parole, hundreds of low-level offenders will be released without close supervision from parole officers. Those officers will focus instead on tracking serious, violent offenders. Some prisoners may also be released early for completing drug and education programs or have their sentences reduced under new formulas for calculating time served in county jails before and after sentencing.
I don't really follow the first paragraph, but it seems to imply that some more serious offenders will also be released? Or are they referring to released offenders as awhole? The second paragraph makes it clear that California isn't doing the obvious thing:
  1. Pardon all prisonsers in jail for marijuana possession or distribution. This is just a no-brainer. They are non violent, non dangerous, and in prision for violating a law that most Californians are agains (and will probably be soon repealed). Note I say pardon, not parole.
  2. Release (under the new system) all prisoners (regardless of time served) who are serving drug possession sentences. Enforce councelling.
  3. Stop charging people with posession. Save the prison cells crimes which have a victim.
Does anyone have the figures for these two categories of prisonsers? I suspect it's a lot more than the 6500 they are shooting for, but I'd love to know the real numbers. After all, it's far smarter than the alternative. Consider this choice passage from the same article:
...but not before one inmate in Sacramento was arrested shortly after his release and charged with attempting to rape a woman. The man had been released on probation after serving time on an assault charge.
Really? They are releasing people convicted of assault charges? Really? You think that's good priorities?

I found the final quote pretty funny, and telling. Mark Leno explains that it will be hard to sell further reductions to other politicians. :

Many lawmakers, he said, still want to lengthen sentences and spend more on incarceration, both politically popular notions. “We can’t control ourselves,” Mr. Leno said. “Or some of my colleagues can’t control themselves.”
Apparently politicians need counselling for their addiction to draconian sentencing.

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