It is perfect timing that the U.S. Supreme Court on Friday allowed a lower court order to stand requiring Gov. Jerry Brown to release thousands of California prison inmates during a time when hundreds of them are starving themselves to obtain basic requests. Brown's refusal to abide by the court order is akin to prisons chief Jeffrey Beard's hard-line stance against negotiating with the striking prisoners.
The continued mistreatment and dehumanization of our inmate population will have far more dire consequences for our safety when those prisoners are released after serving their full sentences than the immediate release of 9,600 of them now. At least now, Brown can engage in the thoughtful process of determining which inmates can be released without presenting a significant risk to the public.
Despite what politicians say, the truth is that not all prison inmates are violent, and many can become productive members of society, regardless of when they are released.