Doug Berman has a nice piece up at Sentencing Law and Policy discussing how CA is discovering that it can’t handle the costs and implementation of its recent sex offender tracking law waaayyyyy after the fact (shocker). He nails the implications well:
There are so many interesting and telling dimensions to this story: the public's broad support for GPS tracking without concern for the costly particulars; the inevitability of technocorrections being impeded by cost concerns; the willingness of Gov. Schwarzenegger to create a commission to study this issue while he opposed the creation of a much-needed sentencing commission for his state.
He’s right that TECHNOCORRECTIONS will be impeded by cost concerns, IF we stick with the traditional forms which are still expensive compared to basic probation, for example. BUT that’s why, if the pharmaceutical and/or bioengineering firms come up with products and procedures that promise greater control of both offenders and costs, they will have a gigantic market to themselves and people desperate to buy from them. And have I ever mentioned how they’ll send to those sober, upright policymakers the most qualified salespeople they can find from the ranks of college cheerleaders and beauty queens? I’m telling you, investing in those companies is a better bet than any other buy out there right now.
(Note: the author is not a certified finance manager, and you follow his money advice at your own risk.)
[In other CA news, looks like the gov may release 22,000 inmates early to ease prison cost and lawsuit problems, which, as Berman also notes, wouldn’t have been necessary if tough but rational decisions been made by the gov in the last couple of years. Also the paper got a critical quote from a forensic professor once associated with a national prosecutors research group and now specializing apparently in serial killers, who actually is only part-time at the college the paper cites with none of the other info I just provided and works full-time for non-profit Alliant International University. I guess it couldn’t find time to talk to Zimring or Petersilia or the Stanford Criminal Law Center or Little Hoover Commission people who might have balanced the professor’s negative comments or supplied some, you know, data and evidence.]