If past pattern holds, they'll be fifteen new crimes for each prisoner freed from California state prisons:
Overcrowding litigation is demonstrated to have a negative impact on prison populations, but is unlikely to be related to fluctuations in the crime rate, except through its effect on prison populations.... For each one-prisoner reduction induced by prison overcrowding litigation, the total number of crimes committed increases by approximately 15 per year.
Some would claim that we should therefore not release prisoners. Yet one reason there is a rise is crime is because of what happens in prison. We create the problem. Then we blame the increase in crime on released prisoners.
Nietzsche warned that, "He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster." Even a virtuous man will leave California prisons a monster.
Most have no conception of how bad California prisons are. When a member of the Hells Angels, serving a prison for manslaughter, describes California prison as, "Hell on earth, where every day is a fight for survival," then you can imagine what life is like for normal people. You don't remain normal for long.
Civilization hides our primitive instincts, and softens our ruthlessness. We tell ourselves that we are good people who care about others. Yet we eat our at expensive resturants while others starve. Even the rich among us rarely give give 10% to charity. We waste money on bottled water when millions don't even have running water. People starve, and we simply don't care. This is what we choose to do in a civilized world.
Prison is not civilized. Do you think that in prison you'd choose another prisoner's life over your own? Do you think you'd choose being gang raped and sold into sexual slavery over your cell mate's life? Of course you wouldn't.
You'd become a murderer. A person is a product of his actions, and so who would you become in prison? Due to the code of silence, you'll be released from prison. Now what will the new you do?
No one leaves California prisons normal. The question then becomes: Do you ensure that people never leave prison, in other words, give everyone a life sentence? Or do you reform prisons?
For years, California has declined to reform prisons. Instead, California has made it easier to send people to prison. The criminal code grows each year, and so too does the monstrosity of its prisons.
Any of you reading this could find yourself in prison. It is not God's grace - but a prosecutor's - keeping you from a pit of monsters.
If we want to reform prisons, there are two competing principles to keep in mind. Either make it easy to send people to nice prisons, or hard to send people to horrible prisons. Today, it's easy to send people to horrible prisons, and so Californians can expect a crime tsunami.
When the crime wave comes crashing into the coast, Californians will have have only themselves to blame. Voters are their own Mary Shelleys writing each page of a new Frankenstein monster with every ballot cast for "tough on crime" laws.