During the recent organized theft crisis, I’ve begun to think about incarceration in a broader sense. There are 117,000 inmates in California’s 34 prisons (and one private facility), which is down from 170,000 at its peak in the mid 1990s (which was up from around 20,000 in 1970). There are 11,235 Federal inmates in the 13 federal prisons and 8 work camps in California. There’s about 70,000 inmates in California’s municipal jails at any one time. A little over 200,000 on probation as of 12/18). A little over 100,000 on parole. There are just 700 juveniles incarcerated in the state, down from a peak of about 10,000 in the mid-1990s.
So, 500,000 give or take, in the system in a population of just over 40 million. About 80,000 police officers, sheriffs, guards (not including administrative employees).
Facilities are overburdened. There are at least five factors leading to these conditions; 1) Doubling of California population in last three decades, 2) legal efforts to reduce the number of inmates, particularly so-called “non-violent” inmates, 3) mandatory sentencing laws and longer sentences and tougher post-release supervision policies, 4) weak district attorneys and 5) soft-on-crime Progressive Democrat politicians.
It’s a toxic soup for anything less than ideal economic conditions, and we don’t have ideal economic conditions. They are getting worse. Rural California, sans water, is more impoverished than ever.