Many prison experts in California have used recent data released by the California Prisons Department to call for new reforms regarding the 3 strikes law in the state. According to the data studied the inmates who received 3 strikes were not more likely to be a criminal thinking who placed society at high risk, but these individuals were far more likely to have some type of substance abuse addiction. The data included different types of profiles for many thousands of inmates in the California prison system, and these profiles covered the educational, psychological , and substance abuse aspects for each convicted criminal. The compiled data shows that inmates who end up with 3 strikes are generally much more likely to have substance abuse or addiction problems before entering prison on the first offense.
There are a number of independent experts who have reviewed the data provided by the California Prisons Department, and these experts believe that effective substance abuse treatment offered in prison for long term sentences could have a drastic impact on the prison population and substantially lower the number of people put away for life due to the 3 strike law. Some dispute the findings though, and point out that the first two felonies are violent offenses even if the third strike crime is not. According to Mike Reynolds, who helped push for the 3 strikes law after the murder of his 18 year old daughter stated “The offenders that murdered my daughter were high on methamphetamines, and they had been doing them for God knows how long. It was over a simple purse snatching, a low-level felony, something that you’d never put a guy in prison for 25 to life. They murdered her in a New York minute, pulled out a .357 Magnum, put it in her ear, and executed her right on the spot.”