TLP: Sadly, Romances Never Really Get a Chance to Bloom
It seems like a recession is a good time to get sent to jail. That's because in this economy, jailers are releasing inmates early to save tax money.
Best bet? Let the LA Times tell it:
When times are flush, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department has the money to keep jails open and staffed, and the vast majority of sentenced inmates serve most of their time behind bars.
But when times get tough and tax revenues shrink, the department has repeatedly looked to its jail operations to make cuts, freeing thousands of inmates who've served only a fraction of their sentences.
The length of jail stays has ebbed and flowed in tune with L.A. County's budget for more than two decades, leaving the county during financial crunches with some of the weakest jail sentences in the nation.
The LA County sheriff just announced more early releases. Reactions, shall we say, differ. An inmate the Times caught up with as he walked out a month ahead of schedule on a DUI (his second) was off to celebrate. Bonus: he was putting on the belt the jailer had just returned to him. Who's not happy? Mothers Against Drunk Driving, whose California director told the Times, "It disturbs us greatly. We consider DUI to be a violent crime."
Good economic times make it easier to keep inmates inside. That changes when things get tough. The dot-com bust a decade ago hit government budgets hard when tax revenues declined.
Between 2002 and 2006, more than 150,000 inmates were freed early after they had served just a fraction of their sentences. A 2006 Times investigation found that nearly 16,000 inmates released early were rearrested while they were supposed to be in jail. Sixteen were charged with murder.
So, there's a pattern here, one that society's most devious schemers are clearly able to keep up with. And if that description fits any of you dear readers, don't go off and get in trouble on our account. We never heard of you.