DO THE MATH, and maybe?, THE LOGIC
Sacramento, CA, The Legislative Analysts Office (LAO) reports California has a budget deficit of $68 Billion dollars for 2023-24 fiscal year, the largest deficit yet of the State. Consequently the guardians of public trust are scrambling to stop the taxpayers' cash hemorrhage.
While these financial Titans look for ways and means to stop the revenue bleed an old adage holds true "There are none so blind than those who will not
The same LAO that reported the behemoth deficit, in May 2010 warned the State financial wizards there is a mastodon money gobbler in the state closet that needs to be addressed: ELDERLY INMATES IN CALIFORNIA PRISONS costing two to three times more than a regular prisoner. The wizards ignored the alert.
Ten years later the California Finance Department reported in the 2021-22 fiscal year it will cost taxpayers $113,000. per year per prisoner. Using LAO's calculus at 2 1/2 times taxpayers are forking out $282,000. per year per old harmless prisoner per year in a leviathan annual prison budget of $14.1 Billion dollars. The mastodon money gobbler gets hungrier every year.
California United for a Reasonable Budget (CURB) reports there are 35,000 prisoners in California of senior status approximately 30% of the prison population. AGING & MENTAL HEALTH, 2021, VOL. 25, NO. 2, 260-268 published an in depth study on aging in prison quoting scholars with a consensus of opinion elderly prisoners are the most harmless prisoner class, most costly and most likely not to recidivate. PRISON POLICY INITIATIVE of Massachusetts, gathers statistics from academia across the United States, Emily Widra, a Senior Research Analyst, August 2, 2023 wrote "It doesn't make sense to spend so much money locking people [elderly] up in places that are not only dangerous to their health, but more costly to care for them - especially when there is little public safety argument to justify doing so." Scholars can find no sense in punishing benign elderly prisoners to death: senicide.
California aware of growing fiscal, moral and ethical concerns over State sponsored senicide introduced "ELDERLY PAROLE." Looking behind the proverbial curtains Elderly Parole is nothing more than a rhetorical device to appease the public. In a REPORT OF SIGNIFICANT EVENTS the Parole Board proudly reported an 82% denial of Elderly Parole petitions.
Put aside the moral and ethical aspects of punishing harmless old men to death, the question is, in a difficult economy how can our guardians of public trust allow taxpayers to suffer such a financial burden when many struggle to make ends meet?
In logic calculus an aphorism in bias holds "When asked, the fox will always say all chickens are dangerous."
20 December 2023
Robert H. Outman
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