The Best Question from the Last Two Weeks
The tragedy of the Jaycee Dugard case has (rightly) resulted in quite a bit of media attention and interest.  At this early stage, reliable facts are just starting to emerge – despite the volume of coverage and conversation.  The paucity of new information, however, hasn’t stopped more than a few media outlets from asking a whole host of questions that I suspect no one knows the answer to, such as

Why would someone do this?

I don’t think that the media poses these questions out of malice, or ill intent. I think that journalists are trying to respond to the intense public interest (and outrage) that a crime like this one could happen in one of our California communities. I also think that some of the relentlessness of the coverage is also the product of the 24-hour news cycle that demands new information on a constant basis.
Continue reading the article here.
California to Submit Population Management Plan that Prioritizes Public Safety and Relieves overcrowding
Last week, The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) announced it will “file a comprehensive plan with the federal three judge panel that reforms the prison system over several years and eventually could exceed the panel’s order to bring the operational capacity to 137.5 percent of combined design capacity of the state’s 33 prisons.”

California’s domestic violence shelters prepare for funding fight
By Sean Maher
California’s domestic violence shelters, hit with a huge budget loss when Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger cut all their state funding in July, pledged Tuesday to continue pressing for that money to be restored after a bill that would have done just that failed in the state Senate.
Six of the state’s 94 domestic violence shelters have closed since Schwarzenegger used a line-item veto July 28 to cut the $16.3 million California provided across the system, said Camille Hayes, a spokeswoman for The California Partnership to End Domestic Violence.


What we can learn from the Dugard case
Sarah Tofte
…During the 18 years Jaycee was missing, in the aftermath of a series of horrendous crimes against children, California legislators and their counterparts across the nation addressed the problem of sexual violence primarily by establishing and expanding registration and community notification requirements for convicted sex offenders.
Courts, policymakers and the public operated on the assumption that sex-offender laws worked and were worth the money, even if they meant diverting resources from prevention efforts. Lawmakers have poured a tremendous amount of resources into these programs with strong public support.
by Michael Rushford
California has had no shortage of notorious criminals over the years. Often their crimes have exposed weaknesses in state and local law enforcement policy.
The Onion Field murder, which involved the 1963 kidnapping of two Los Angeles police officers and the killing of one, led to changes in police procedures during traffic stops. The slaughter of seven people in 1969 by followers of Charles Manson helped marshal public support for the death penalty and inspired reforms in legal procedures.