Californians would rather ease penalties than pay more for prisons

Poll shows a change in attitudes as California seeks ways to comply with court-ordered cuts to its prison population. Soured economy is a key factor. By Jack Dolan, Los Angeles Times, July 21, 2011, Reporting from Sacramento Cash-strapped Californians would rather ease “third-strike” penalties for some criminals and accept felons as neighbors than dig deeper into their pockets to relieve prison overcrowding, a new poll shows. In the wake of a court order that the state move more than 33,000 inmates out of its packed prisons, an overwhelming number of voters oppose higher taxes — as well as cuts in key state services — to pay for more lockup space. The survey, by The Times and the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences, shows a clear shift in attitude by residents forced to confront the cost of tough sentencing laws passed in recent decades. [Full Story: http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-poll-prisons-20110721,0,531177.story ]

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Californians would rather ease penalties than pay more for prisons