Gov. Arnie Shows Support for Felons

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger continues to win our praise by giving felons a second chance.

Through a series of recent steps, the governor who personified toughness on the movie screen has emphasized education, job training, drug treatment and counseling for inmates to improve the odds that they would get out and go straight.

He also has freed 83 murderers who had done their time and won the endorsement of the parole board.

Unlike most of his crusades on other fronts, which reflect traditional GOP positions, Schwarzenegger's turn to rehabilitation takes him into territory where few California politicians -- Republican or Democrat-- have recently trod.

Is the "get tough on crime" policy of politicians that has run rampant the past 25 years beginning to erode? Maybe not. But Gov. Arnold is leaps and bounds ahead of Gray Davis who was beholden to the state's prison guards.

And unlike previous governors, this one has forsworn campaign contributions from the powerful prison guards union. He apparently sees little political risk in pursuing policies that may alienate union leaders.

Inevitably, there are sour grapes. Like this comment made by Gray Davis' former political advisor:

"I just don't think taxpayers want to see billions of dollars spent on teaching violent criminals how to do macrame and become auto mechanics."

No wonder his candidate didn't win.

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    Re: Gov. Arnie Shows Support for Felons (none / 0) (#1)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sun Feb 13, 2005 at 03:10:15 AM EST
    TL: Read this. Just astonishing.

    Re: Gov. Arnie Shows Support for Felons (none / 0) (#2)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sun Feb 13, 2005 at 08:16:45 AM EST
    Local stations in LA (Fox) are carrying on an "investigation" of group home placements of parole sex offenders. Their latest segment shows reporters harrassing Coronado Manufactured Stone for giving jobs and living space to released offenders. As they state, women and children visit shops nearby and the business is located near a subdivision where children play. Any neighborhood in the LA area has numerous sex offenders living there, plus many other released felons who are not covered by Megan's Law. I find the news stations attempts to whip up hysteria about sex offenders living anywhere in the state except prison to be detrimental to public welfare and also harmful to the chances of reform of the men and women released from prison. If you are going to applaud the Governor for his support of prisoners are you also going to speak out against this persecution and interference with the reform efforts of sex offenders and those who try to help them? I find myself wondering where in the state, except prison, anyone would be willing to except these people.

    Re: Gov. Arnie Shows Support for Felons (none / 0) (#3)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sun Feb 13, 2005 at 09:20:35 AM EST
    The sex offenders have become "the least among us" and christians should think about what they means for us. Unfortunately, serial sexual offenders may be some of the most predictably dangerous people in the criminal justice system. I believe housing dangerous people in a secure facility is one of the most legitimate functions of prisons. It's a public safety issue. So, our prisons are full to overflowing with people who are not predictably dangerous if it were not for the psycho-social consequences of a stint in the big house. Prisons are a revolving door for this population because the prisons follow the culture's mandate and do relatively little rehab and vocational training. There are little or no jobs or acceptance for released felons who have done their time, they can't even vote and have any potential impact that way on a system that they have especially acute knowledge about. Bottom line: I applaud Arnie's steps to fix the prison disaster. One thing at a time. I am willing to clap when the other political side gets something/anything right.

    Re: Gov. Arnie Shows Support for Felons (none / 0) (#4)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sun Feb 13, 2005 at 09:34:18 AM EST
    Sophia, absolutely we will speak out about that. As we did on related issues, here and here . Thanks for the information on this specific issue and we will follow it.

    Re: Gov. Arnie Shows Support for Felons (none / 0) (#5)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sun Feb 13, 2005 at 11:04:29 AM EST
    Suggest you praise Gov. Arnold not... He does not keep his promises! Arnold promised to give schools more money this year if they accepted draconian cuts last year (and this year, he has renegged on the increases which would bring school funding back to the constitutionally-mandated minimums; instead he touts his modest rises, which do not compensate for last year's huge losses). Arnold promised supporters of a bill to give illegal immigrants licenses that he would sign a new bill with a few more restrictions. (This year, he refuses to consider any bill to license illegals at all.) Arnold promised not to take 'special interest' money, when he accused Gov Gray Davis of doing so. Now he takes more special interest money than any previous governor. What will he promise to stay on as governor? What will he promise to be eligible to run as a Repub for President?

    Re: Gov. Arnie Shows Support for Felons (none / 0) (#6)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sun Feb 13, 2005 at 11:23:26 AM EST
    This is fun to watch. if you do the crime and the time why do you need to pay for that crime for life ,in the first place? how many can't get that point and talk about Muslim law as if our laws were any better? most crime is caused by people who are poor and without jobs and on drugs, so what is this all about "the show" the big guy needs the show to tell you more lies. listen to the bankers telling you what is going to happen.

    Re: Gov. Arnie Shows Support for Felons (none / 0) (#7)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Mon Feb 14, 2005 at 12:17:14 AM EST
    "personified toughness"? Have another helping of spin. Swartz.'s movies are among the most VIOLENT mass-market movies ever made. A lot of the young guns in prison in California got there in part through Swartz.'s boosterism of violent, SS-officer guffawing, one-liner MURDER. Big guns, big gas-guzzling SS staff cars, big b*lls (no need for brains), big pecs, steroids, and depictions of violence against women. What a combination. Further, you can applaud the acts of someone who didn't get legally elected, but many of us Californians (and Americans) NEVER will. He stole power; he was part of a conspiracy to defraud California of ten billion dollars; PLUS, there's a lot of evidence that he's a serial sex offender. His thugs during the Recall campaign threatened nonviolent protesters with knives, pushed women into the street, chanting "Women are for f*king," and celebrated outright racism. Oohrah for the purveyor of violence and the practitioner of antidemocratic conspiracy. Another ugly chapter to turn kids into criminals by causing them to lose all faith in elections to get change.