The federal judiciary has ordered the state of California to reduce its prison population to alleviate severe overcrowding. Because of bad management and incredibly sweet union contracts for guards, the cost of warehousing inmates in California prisons approaches the room rate of the Four Seasons hotels. Prison guards in California make almost 2½ times what a five-year veteran elementary school teacher makes. Go figure.
The answer is not to build more expensive prisons staffed by overpaid guards, nor is it to farm out the prison management to a for-profit private company. The term “for-profit” should be self explanatory here.
The answer is to carefully cull the prison inmate population to manageable numbers. Release the poor slob serving time for possessing a joint, release the first-time non-violent offenders who were railroaded by overzealous district attorneys and overworked, poor-performing public defenders. Release the ones who are not a threat to me or my neighbors and are costing the taxpayers a fortune to keep inside.
The courts have ordered the reduction in prison population; it’s up to us, the taxpayers, to see that the reduction is handled well. At the risk of repeating myself: The answer is not building more prisons staffed with very expensive guards!
And while we are talking about overpaid public employees, let’s take a hard look at the Brentwood Union School District. To give Dr. Grant and his cronies a raise in these tough economic times is almost criminal! Dr. Grant is way overpaid already while the ‘in the trenches” teachers work long hours in overcrowded classrooms with pay scales that make burger flipping look good. You should be ashamed of yourself, Merrill!
Maybe it is time for the community to take a long, hard look at the school board members and their relationships with these three overpaid administrators?
And finally: How about we try something really novel here in Brentwood? Let’s widen Balfour out to Deer Valley without approving 1,300-plus new homes. And while we are at it, let’s make the Highway 4 Bypass four lanes from Lone Tree to Balfour like it should have been all along. The planning and execution of road and street building here in Brentwood has been a disaster for at least the last 10 years.
Bill Sumner, Brentwood