Jerry Brown prison plan should include victims

Thu, 05/09/2013 - 11:55am

Re "Brown needs to convene prison settlement talks" (Editorials, May 8): Your editorial urged Gov. Jerry Brown to get everybody to the table• to solve prison overcrowding. But your "everybody"• failed to include victims.

Considering that the state remedy, AB 109, resulted in jail overcrowding that is forcing the early release of criminals onto our streets, and leading to more victims, we deserve to be at the table.

Historically, the criminal justice system has tried to offer justice to crime victims. The offender who killed, violated or otherwise abused them, or their family members, usually is made to serve a sentence ordered by the court as punishment for the crime.

When this punishment is significantly and randomly reduced for political or practical expediency, as is proposed by the governor, victims lose their justice. As such, having a victim's perspective in this discussion is essential.

-- Harriet Salarno, Crime Victims United