Letters to the editor for Sept. 5
News materials distributed by several law enforcement groups in California about the state budget proposals have incorrectly cited RAND Corporation criminal justice research.
Those materials state: “Another study by the Rand Corp. (“Crime Costs and Public Policy,” January 2009) found that the average prisoner on early release commits 13 new crimes before being re-arrested. Applying these numbers to California’s early release programs equates to 170,000 new crimes and crime victims over the next 36 months.”
The briefing referenced was a review of research done by others, and contains no calculation regarding the crimes that might be committed following early release of prisoners.
It appears the law enforcement groups may be using a number extrapolated from research about habitual criminal offenders done by RAND and other research groups during the 1970s. Among the information collected by those studies were estimates of the crimes committed by prisoners in the year before their incarceration. Those studies did not examine prisoners on early release.
Honorable Chairman and members of the El Dorado County Board of Supervisors:
The Community Action Council is an advisory council to the Department of Human Services and the Board of Supervisors on issues affecting low-income residents of the county. The council operates under a mandate by the federal Community Services Block Grant legislation and is made up of representatives from countywide non-profits, community-based organizations, the cities of Placerville and South Lake Tahoe, and the El Dorado County Board of Supervisors.
Your action of June 11 to refuse stimulus funding through Housing and Urban Development, to purchase and rehabilitate foreclosed homes within our county and the city of South Lake Tahoe, continues to resonate negatively throughout the county and within this council.
As presented to you on June 11, up to 18 homes could have been rehabilitated in neighborhoods where low- to median-income families could have afforded to purchase and settle; local contractors, real estate agents, mortgage companies and banks would have been employed to implement this program; an infusion of community renewal and neighborhood re-stabilization would have occurred; and blighted buildings would have been demolished.
At a time when you are facing $10 million to $15 million in additional cuts for the coming year, your decision to turn away $1.6 million, with millions in a multiplier effect that could have benefited so many, continues to perplex and disappoint the members of the Community Action Council.
As mandated appointees on behalf of the county’s and cities’ low-income, senior and homeless population, the Community Action Council would like to officially register our disapproval of the board’s action to refuse the $1.6 million Neighborhood Stabilization Program funding.
Acting chair, Community Action Council
Letters should be no more than 350 words. Shorter letters have a better chance of being published. Letter writers may be limited to two letters per month.
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South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150,
or fax (530) 541-0373.
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