New data shows that California convicts imprisoned under the state’s three strikes law aren’t any more inclined to dangerous criminal thinking than other inmates, but they are far more likely to be addicted to drugs and alcohol.
The profiles of thousands of inmates from the state prisons department – obtained and analyzed by California Watch and the San Francisco Chronicle – show the state imposes especially lengthy sentences on felons with substance abuse problems, but these are also felons who haven’t necessarily committed violent crimes.
According to their profiles, these inmates would pose no more a threat to public safety than a non-three-strikes inmate.
California has been conducting the assessments since 2006 and has found the following:
· Drug addiction is the major problem among habitual criminals.
· Nearly 70 percent of convicts with a third strike show a high need for substance abuse treatment, compared with 48 percent of all inmates tested.
· When measuring inmates’ “criminal thinking” risk levels, which indicate whether they exhibit anger or antisocial behaviors that spur criminal activity, the data shows that the scores of third-strikers’ are similar to those of inmates with no strikes on their records.
Click here to read the full story from California Watch.