SANTA MARIA, Calif. - Governor Gavin Newsom proposed to reduce probation times for people convicted of crimes. He is also hoping to increase rehabilitation programs at the outset of the probationary period.
Gov. Newsom hopes to set a maximum two-year limit on probation terms.
“He is advocating for restoration, as opposed to punishment,” said social justice advocate Leonard Flippen.
Gov. Newsom hopes to use state funds to increase rehabilitation programs after probationary periods.
“What he is saying is locking people up just creates more criminals,” said Flippen.
Gov. Newsom argues the proposal will lighten the burden the state pays for offenders of petty crimes. But San Luis Obispo County District Attorney Dan Dow disagrees.
He released a statement saying:
“With the rise in auto theft and other property crimes, it is high time to hold offenders accountable for their actions, not give them less accountability by an arbitrary shorter probation period. Longer probation means more accountability for someone who has already been convicted of a crime. ”
But Flippen said the U.S. criminal system is dysfunctional and set up for offenders to fail.
“When you bring law enforcement in, what they are saying is we are going to take this person over here to the penal system and then we are going to bring him back to your society and he is supposed to be all better. That is not what happens … because hurt people, hurt people,” explained Flippen.
Officials say right now, the majority of people on probation are not in any kind of rehabilitation program. The governor is seeking $210 million dollars over the next four years to pay for the program in the budget.