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That Didn't Take Long

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Robert Lewis and Sam Stanton report for the Sacramento Bee:

One of the inmates the Sacramento County Sheriff's Department released early as part of an effort to reduce the state's prison population was arrested Tuesday on suspicion of attempted rape, less than 24 hours after getting out of jail, The Bee has learned.

Kevin Eugene Peterson got out of jail Monday night after serving about two months on a four-month sentence for violating probation on a prior felony conviction. Peterson was arrested 12 hours later, around 12:30 p.m. Tuesday, on suspicion of an attempted rape involving a female counselor at the 1300 block of North C Street, a Sacramento Police Department spokesman said. He was booked into the Sacramento County jail at 3:21 p.m. Tuesday on suspicion of attempted rape, sexual battery, false imprisonment and violating the terms of his probation.

"Our greatest fear has occurred almost immediately after the early release of these inmates," said Christine Ward of the Crime Victims Action Alliance. "We are certain that we will see more of this as more inmates are released from jails and prisons."

Peterson has a criminal history including a 2008 felony conviction for assault with a deadly weapon. He pled guilty and was sentenced to a year in prison. On Dec. 2, he was sentenced to four months for violating the terms of his probation, according to court documents.

Only nonviolent inmates will be released. There is no point in imprisoning people on technical parole violations. We know how to identify the ones who can be safely released. This program will enhance, not endanger, public safety. This is part of being smart on crime.

Oh, and would you like to buy a bridge?

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And so it winds up not even being cost-effective. This guy will have to be tried again--that has a cost. And the victim, besides life-long non-economic damages, will undoubtedly suffer economic ones as well. How many times does this have to be repeated before this thing is, purely from an economic standpoint, a money loser rather than a cost saver. Criminals commit crime when they are free.

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