Re "Gov. calls for prison growth," Dec. 22
The Times reports that "Schwarzenegger's $10.9-billion plan would add 78,000 beds to state prisons and county jails." The Times also reports in a separate article the soaring salaries for guards, to upward of $100,000 a year. Neither makes the protection of our communities its highest priority. California's revolving-door prison system has the nation's highest recidivism rate. More of the same will not correct this problem. We should spend more money on rehabilitation programs for inmates and developing effective parole programs for those who are released from prison. Most inmates will at some time be released, and we should do what we can to prepare them for a normal life. Stop spending so much on buildings and guards and spend more on making our communities safer.
LONNIE R. BUNKLEY