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Poll: Californians Favor Early Release Over New Prisons

Posted on Friday, July 22, 2011 9:36am

A new poll shows Californians favor letting some inmates out of prison early over paying for new prisons.  The findings also boost Governor Jerry Brown’s plan to shift more responsibility from the state to counties.

The USC Dornsife/LA Times survey asked 1500 voters about several options for complying with a court order to reduce prison overcrowding. Dan Schnur with the University says nearly 80 percent favor early parole for medically incapacitated inmates. He says there’s also significant bi-partisan support for Governor Jerry Brown’s plan to shift some low-level offenders from state prisons to county jails.

“There is overwhelming support for the Governor’s proposal,” said Schnur.  ”It received almost 80 percent support from our entire electorate, 81 percent from Democrats and 74 percent from Republicans.”

That plan has been criticized by Republican lawmakers who say it threatens public safety. The survey also found that nearly 70 percent of voters support the early release of non-violent offenders. The poll was conducted earlier this month.

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