Santa Clara County is handing out Get Out of Jail Free cards this month to anyone with a misdemeanor warrant for a nonviolent offense or a traffic violation. Until the end of the year, people with warrants against them for nonviolent crimes can simply walk into the local police station, get their citation, and schedule a new court date. In the spirit of the holiday season, even warrants that say “No Cite and Release,” “No Walk-Over,” and “No Bail” can be eligible for the program.

While the immediate reaction to the program is that it is a gift to the people who broke the law, it also makes sound financial sense. In California today, it costs over $47,000 to keep a person in prison for a year, or almost $4,000 per month. In contrast, campus tuition for state residents who live on campus at UCSC comes to $32,250, or almost one-third less—and the state covers the entire cost of the prisoners. 

“Operation Second Chance 2010” is being touted as a win-win situation for the offenders, the state, and most of all, the taxpayers.  And with the current rates of recidivism, it’s the gift that keeps on giving.
Read More at NBC Bay Area.