Letters to the Editor

Walking the beat

On Christmas Eve, The Bee printed Los Angeles Times reporter Dan Morain's article concerning the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation's soaring overtime costs.

The article advocates that the average family should be outraged about the overtime pay the guards earn; the husband and wife of the average family certainly have the opportunity to join the department in order to earn that significant pay.

The article contends that the correctional officers' union has engineered the passage of tough sentencing laws that keep nonviolent offenders in prison longer. These tough laws keep repeat criminals where they belong and ensure that you and I are safer. It costs more to re-arrest, retry, reconvict and resentence offenders rather then keep them in prison -- where they belong.

The department has increased recruitment, hoping to attract new officers. Perhaps Mr. Morain would like to set his pen down, make a career change and deal with convicted felons for a living. While state legislators and most news reporters are at home, away from their desks during our special holidays, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation guards are walking the toughest beat in the state, keeping the criminals locked up.

John Kavanaugh

Correctional lieutenant

Corcoran State Prison