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How Prisoner Release Could Benefit California: Michael Jacobson

July 11 (Bloomberg) -- Justices Antonin Scalia and Samuel Alito appealed to fear with their dissents to the U.S. Supreme Court’s May 23 decision ordering California to shed more than 30,000 inmates from its bloated system.

Alito predicted a “grim roster of victims” resulting from willy-nilly early release of prisoners; Scalia imagined tens of thousands of “happy-go-lucky felons” on the loose, many with “intimidating muscles” developed while “pumping iron in the prison gym.” It is true that the court’s decision places the state in a bind, yet it should be an opportunity to carry out proven reforms that will make California’s criminal justice system more just and improve public safety.