Proposition 52: Jail Construction
What Giari may not realize is that the threat of imprisonment, no matter how long or short, is a major deterrent to the commitment of minor crimes. Removal of this threat would remove the cause for many people to think twice before committing a criminal act.
The main purpose of imprisonment is not punishment or rehabilitation, but to deter others from becoming criminals.
For example, drunk driving is still considered to be a minor crime in this state. A main deterrent to drunk driving is the humiliation of being put behind bars, even if only for a few hours, if you are caught. Should this deterrent be removed, there would undoubtedly be an increase in drunk driving, and consequently, traffic fatalities caused by drunk drivers.
To allow the removal of this significant deterrent to crime would be a crime in itself. By doing so, we would be encouraging the commitment of minor crimes, since the perpetrator would be deterred merely by the threat of a slap on the wrist, a stern scolding and ample opportunity to leave the state to avoid prosecution.
DAVID L. GOOD