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Law Enforcement Groups Fear Early Release Of State Prisoners Will Increase Crime

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(Sacramento, CA)
Monday, January 25, 2010
A new state law taking effect today (Monday) to reduce California’s inmate population is gaining criticism from law enforcement groups. 

They say it will increase crime.  

Capital Public Radio's Steve Shadley reports...
The law calls for the early release of about 65-hundred non-violent prisoners within a year.   

The inmates must have participated in education or other prison programs such as fighting wildfires.
But, authorities are worried that the release will lead to more crime in their communities. 

Amador County Sheriff Martin Ryan...
Ryan:   “I’m going to get as many people back as I have patrol deputies out on the street. So its a major impact...”
But, Governor Schwarzenegger is downplaying concerns about a spike in crime. 

He says the plan allows parole officers to focus on violent criminals who really need counseling...

“There are no prisoner releases at all. This is just simply a reform, a parole reform that we have and there’s also a plan to lower the recitivism rate and this will save us 500-million dollars...”
Meantime, two democratic Assemblymembers are introducing a bill requiring the state to notify local law enforcement about prisoner releases. 

But, state prison officials say police can find the information on a new website.  
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