CALIFORNIA WOMAN FORCED TO PAY HER ABUSIVE HUSBAND SPOUSAL SUPPORT? REALLY?
What is this judge thinking? ABC news has the report. Here are the details:
She was forced to have sex with him, and now she’s being forced to pay his bills.
Crystal Harris of Carlsbad, Calif., had been financially supporting her unemployed, abusive husband Shawn Harris for years. But after he sexually assaulted her in 2008, she took him to court.
The jury heard a damning audiotape of the attack secretly recorded by Crystal Harris, and her husband was convicted of forced oral copulation.
Even so, in 2010, the year their divorce became finalized, he requested spousal support. The judge awarded him $1,000 a month, and also asked Crystal Harris to pay $47,000 of her ex-husband’s legal fees from the divorce proceedings.
JAIL OVERCROWDING PLUS REALIGNMENT MAY FORCE INCARCERATION ALTERNATIVES
Sheriff Baca says the County’s Jails could be full in a month, so some prisoners may serve half sentences. He also said he will look at community-based alternatives to incarceration for some offenders (a strategy that other states have employed successfully, and CA should have embraced years ago).
The LA Times Andrew Blankstein and Robert Faturechi have the story.
Here’s a clip:
The state’s new prison law, which establishes a practice known as realignment, is expected to send as many as 8,000 offenders who would normally go to state prisons into the L.A. County Jail system in the next year.
Currently, defendants awaiting trial account for 70% of the jail population, but Sheriff Lee Baca said that might need to drop to 50%. The department is studying a major expansion of its electronic monitoring and home detention programs to keep track of inmates who are released.
Baca said the department is also developing a new risk-assessment system designed to better identify which inmates are the best candidates to leave the jails.
Additionally, the department is looking at ways to channel more offenders into education and substance abuse programs rather than jail.
In the panic over releasing inmates, did anyone notice the small, interesting fact embedded in this story: namely that 70 percent of those in jail are not there because of convictions, but because they are awaiting trial. And a big chunk of the folks who make up that 70 percent are locked up, not because they’re a hideous threat to public safety or a ghastly flight risk, but simply because they don’t have the money or the collateral to make bail. In other words, the issue isn’t so much criminogenic as it is fiscal.
So-o-oooo, instead, of keeping all those economically-challenged folks in the county lock-up, for those who qualify, we could use electronic monitoring or some related ATI (alternatives to incarceration) system, which other jurisdictions have been employing with good results. (But, hell, why be logical and forward thinking when hysteria is SO much more fun!)
WHERE ARE REPUBLICANS ON CRIMINAL JUSTICE
Steve Yoder writing for the Crime Report suggests that some Republicans have come farther on sentencing reform and other criminal justice reforms than Democrats.
Here’s a clip:
To understand the distance that the Republican Party has traveled on criminal justice, observe the record of Texas’ longest-serving governor.
In 2001, just after Rick Perry assumed the job, he vetoed a bill that would have ended the practice of arresting those suspected of class C misdemeanors—fine-only crimes that don’t require jail time, such as traffic offenses.
But fast-forward to 2007. That year, he signed a law allowing police officers to issue citations instead of making arrests for certain class A and B misdemeanors, including marijuana possession. Perry’s reversal came about in part because the state faced a projected shortfall of 17,000 inmate beds.
In Texas and other red states, formerly law-and-order GOP lawmakers are taking the lead in reforming criminal justice systems.
In other words, yes, California’s Democratic legislature does lag behind Rick Perry’s Texas (among other states) in terms of many criminal justice reforms. Explain that one, Sacramento!
Not that the public, the press and the local officials are any better: Just notice the ongoing freakout that realignment is causing. (See above.) I mean, realignment may force us to have to back into some much-needed sentencing and pre-trial systems reform. OMG!!! The horror!!!