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A discussion on the state's future

January 11, 2007

Re "Gov. calls on state to borrow and build more," Jan. 10

The problem with California's prisons isn't going to be solved by building more prisons. Proven, alternative methods utilized by other societies have diminished their crime rates and prison populations by addressing the core root of the problem, providing education, rehabilitation, drug counseling and emotional healing.

Many California inmates are nonviolent offenders who, if given the opportunity, can change the direction of their lives. Use our taxes to educate and rehabilitate inmates so they won't have to return to the prison system out of desperation because they have no skills or talents to survive on the outside. Early releases for those in prison for technical probation or parole violations, and amending the three-strikes law, should also be considered to lessen overcrowding.

ANNETTE SCOFIELD

Irvine

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The governor failed to address two critical issues. If our state's population is expected to increase 30% over the next 20 years, how will we continue to provide adequate public services to millions of new Californians as well as our current population? The answer is that we must build and revitalize our state's workforce -- our human infrastructure.

How will our state obtain the revenue necessary to meet the needs of our citizens? How long can we continue to borrow and spend without putting an intolerable burden on our children and grandchildren? It's time to dismiss the right-wing paranoia about taxes and find solutions that will work for all Californians.

J.J. JELINCIC

President, California State Employees Assn.

Sacramento

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