Yes on 57: Alleviate overstuffed prisons

Crystal Zhong/Staff

Jails are overcrowded, underfunded and taking up too much of the state’s money. Now’s our chance to fix that.

Proposition 57 would increase the opportunity of parole for nonviolent offenders in California prisons. It would also remove the decision of whether to prosecute a minor in juvenile or regular court from prosecutors’ hands and rightfully place it in the hands of a judge. How is that not common sense?

Opponents claim the proposition might amount to a get-out-of-jail-free card, but this is real life, not a game of Monopoly. Only nonviolent offenders who meet certain standards — such as pursuing education while in prison — would be eligible for parole, and not all inmates would meet the standards.

The proposition provides an incentive for inmates to use their prison time to better themselves, which means there’s a higher chance they will create a positive impact in the world after they’ve rejoined society.

Nonviolent offenders who have served time with good behavior, pursued education or partaken in rehab usually deserve to leave prison. And it’s not like granting parole just turns people loose into society. For years, they’re still monitored by the state.

This won’t affect public safety. It can only serve to alleviate the pressure on our prisons. Vote yes on Proposition 57.

Endorsements represent the majority opinion of the Senior Editorial Board as written by the opinion editor.