The Little Hoover Commission report says the correctional system is in a tailspin that threatens public safety. It accuses lawmakers of inaction – saying they’re afraid to be seen as soft on crime. Commissioner Daniel Hancock:
“I think there’s a sense of frustration and cynicism on the part of the commission that people just haven’t taken this issue seriously.”
A federal judge has threatened to take over the system, and could redirect state funds to corrections. To avoid that, the commission suggests an independent panel could take over – and set up new sentencing guidelines. Not a good idea, says Republican Assemblywoman and commission member Audra Strickland:
“Handing over my job of being a representative of the people of my district to an independent unaccountable, unelectable commission is an abdication of my responsibilities.”
Governor Schwarzenegger has proposed an advisory sentencing commission – and Democratic Senate Majority Leader Gloria Romero wants to form a similar group…but with more power.