ï»¿ï»¿By Tiffani Kjeldergaard
A marijuana arrest is classified as a non-violent offence, unless of course, you use violence. For the peaceful cultivator, transporter, possessor, or seller of marijuana, this pertains to you. You are the California prison systemâ€™s big ticket item! California calculates their budget for all prisoners, regardless of where they are housed, in order to get financing for each one. The state has established a courtesy supervision partnership with Arizona to house the growing number of non-violent prisoners in California. When they ship these non-violent prisoners to Arizona, it costs their state $22,794.00 per year for each California prisoner they house; however, this cost is not absorbed by Arizona taxpayers, it is billed to each prison. California taxpayers pay a WHOPPING $47,102.00 per year for each prisoner, regardless if they are housed in California or in Arizona.
California budgets are submitted yearly with as large of a head count as possible, but when the prisons get their budget for all the prisoners accounted for, and after the check is cashed, the prisoners start getting â€œFarmed Outâ€ to other states like Arizona and Oklahoma. The difference in costs for one prisoner per year between Arizona and California is $24,308.00. Where does this money go? If the California prison system can send 10 marijuana-prosecuted Californians to serve 5 years in Arizona, the profit of unused funds is $243,080.00. In 5 years, that sum becomes $1.2 million dollars of â€œfree moneyâ€ for California prisons on 10 marijuana arrests. Is that enough free â€œunused moneyâ€ to keep busting as many non-violent offenders as possible?
We canâ€™t stop this until prohibition has ended. Itâ€™s our turn to end this cycle of financing â€œslush fundsâ€ for California prisons.
Facts and information taken from ca.gov and nicic.gov